Effects of reducing dietary crude protein and metabolic energy in weaned piglets
The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of a pure reduction in the dietary crude protein (CP) and metabolic energy (ME) contents on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile, faecal microflora and odour gas emission in weaned pigs. A total of 80 weaned piglets ((Landrace × Yorkshire) × Duroc) with a mean initial bodyweight (BW) of 6.8 ± 0.5 kg were randomly allotted to four treatments with four replicate pens of five piglets per pen (based on average BW) for 45 days. The dietary treatments consisted of i) CON: basal diet; ii) LME: reduction of 10% of ME in basal diet; iii) LCP: reduction of 10% of CP in basal diet; iv) MECP: reduction of 10% of CP and 10% of ME in basal diet. During the experimental period, average daily feed intake (ADFI) improved in piglets fed the LME and LCP diets, compared with those fed the CON diets. Average daily gain (ADG) and gain to feed (G : F) ratio decreased in piglets fed LCP, LME, and MECP diet, when compared with those fed the CON diet. However, during the total experimental period, ADG and G : F ratio were not affected by dietary treatment. With regard to nutrient digestibility, apparent total track digestibility (ATTD) of CP was not affected by experimental diets. The concentration of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in blood decreased more in piglets fed LME, LCP, and MECP than those fed the CON diet. The emissions of ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sufide (H2S), and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were lower in piglets fed LME, LCP, and MECP diet than those fed the CON diet. In conclusion, these results indicate that reduction in dietary CP and ME content did not decrease growth performance and nutrient digestibility, and they increased positive effects such as BUN and gas emission reduction.
Keywords: Blood profile, digestibility, growth performance, odour emission, pig