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Ben Williams

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AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange

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Low protein diets for pig production

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Research partners: University of Bristol, Scottish Agricultural College (SAC)

Industrial partners: JSR, Tulip, ABN, Forum Products, AHDB Pork and QMS

Sponsors: This project was funded under the Defra LINK Sustainable Livestock Production programme

Duration: 2009 – 2011 

Aims and objectives

  • To test the effects of low protein rations on the performance of growing pigs of a lean commercial genotype
  • To clarify whether low protein rations compromise carcase quality, growth rate or feed conversion efficiency or whether they lead to increased fat deposition in undesirable sites 

Findings

  • Feeding low protein diets to pigs can reduce nitrogen excretion
  • Low-protein diet one (LP1: high levels of lysine) reduced nitrogen intake by 11% while maintaining dietary amino acid levels
  • Low-protein diet two (LP2: low levels of lysine) reduced nitrogen intake by 16% but did not maintain essential amino acids in the later stages of growth
  • Growth measurements showed that growth rate for pigs fed the LP1 diet was the same as the standard commercial diet but feed conversion was slightly worse

 

Further information