1. Measurements of heat loss, energy and nitrogen balance were made on 18 groups of piglets weaned at 2 weeks, at environmental temperatures of 18, 23 and 28°C, and at three levels of feeding at each temperature.
2. From the experimental results, values of heat loss, energy retention, protein and fat deposition were derived for each temperature, at each of the three levels of metabolizable energy (kJ/kg M0·75 per day) intake: 550 (1·0MEm), 825 (1·5MEm) and 1100 (2·0MEm). The lowest of these levels was the calculated thermoneutral maintenance energy requirement (MEm).
3. From the results the following deductions were made, (a) Heat loss varies with both environmental temperature and metabolizable energy intake, and at an intake of 2·0MEm is minimal between 23 and 28°C. Energy retention varies in an inverse manner to heat-loss, and at 1·0MEm is negative at all environmental temperatures below 28°C. (b) Protein and fat deposition increase significantly with increase in metabolizable energy intake (P < 0·05), with fat deposition being more dependent on temperature than protein deposition. The mean increase in protein deposition per 1°C increase in environmental temperature is 2·05 kJ/kg M0·75 per day. Fat deposition is negative at all temperatures at l·0MEm; at l·5MEm it is zero at 23°C and negative at temperatures below this.
4. Critical temperature was calculated to decrease from 26·9°C at l·0MEm to 23·9°C at 2·0MEm.
5. The efficiency of energy utilization (k) was 0·58 at 18°C, 0·81 at 23°C and 0·74 at 28°C. The corresponding values of the maintenance energy requirements were 739, 615 and 550 kJ/kg M0·75 per day. Estimates of the energetic efficiency of protein deposition (kp) of 0·60 to 0·65, and of fat deposition (k/) of 0·82 to 0·86, were determined at 23 and 28°C.