[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of AA and energy intake during late gestation on piglet birth weight and reproductive performance of high-performing (14.5 total born) gilts and sows housed under commercial conditions. At d 90 of gestation, a total of 1,102 females (PIC 1050) were housed in pens by parity group (gilts or sows) with approximately 63 gilts and 80 sows in each pen, blocked by BW within each pen, and each female was randomly assigned to dietary treatments within BW block. Dietary treatments consisted of combinations of 2 standardized ileal digestible (SID) AA intakes (10.7 or 20.0 g/d SID Lys and other AA met or exceeded the NRC  recommendations) and 2 energy intakes (4.50 or 6.75 Mcal/d intake of NE) in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models specified to recognize pen as the experimental unit for parity and the individual female as the experimental unit for dietary treatments. Results indicate an overall positive effect of high energy intake on BW gain during late gestation, although this effect was more manifest under conditions of high, as opposed to low, AA intake (interaction, < 0.001). Furthermore, the magnitude of BW gain response to increased energy intake was greater ( < 0.001) for sows compared with gilts. Sows fed high energy intake had a reduced probability of piglets born alive ( < 0.004) compared with those fed low energy, but no evidence for differences was found in gilts. This can be explained by an increased probability ( = 0.002) of stillborns in sows fed high energy intake vs. sows fed low energy intake. There were no evidences for differences among dietary treatments in litter birth weight and individual piglet birth weight of total piglets born. However, individual born alive birth weight was approximately 30 ± 8.2 g heavier ( = 0.011) for females fed high, as opposed to low, energy intake. Furthermore, piglets born alive were approximately 97 ± 9.5 g heavier ( < 0.001) for sows than for gilts. Preweaning mortality was decreased ( = 0.034) for females fed high AA intake compared with females fed low AA intake regardless of energy level. In conclusion, 1) BW gain of gilts and sows depended not only on energy but also on AA intake, 2) sows fed increased amount of energy had an increased stillborn rate, and 3) increased energy intake during late gestation had a positive effect on individual piglet birth weight with no evidence for such an effect for AA intake.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Advanced methods for dose-response assessments are used to estimate the minimum concentrations of a nutrient that maximizes a given outcome of interest, thereby determining nutritional requirements for optimal performance. Contrary to standard modeling assumptions, experimental data often present a design structure that includes correlations between observations (i.e., blocking, nesting, etc.) as well as heterogeneity of error variances; either can mislead inference if disregarded. Our objective is to demonstrate practical implementation of linear and nonlinear mixed models for dose-response relationships accounting for correlated data structure and heterogeneous error variances. To illustrate, we modeled data from a randomized complete block design study to evaluate the standardized ileal digestible (SID) Trp:Lys ratio dose-response on G:F of nursery pigs. A base linear mixed model was fitted to explore the functional form of G:F relative to Trp:Lys ratios and assess model assumptions. Next, we fitted 3 competing dose-response mixed models to G:F, namely a quadratic polynomial (QP) model, a broken-line linear (BLL) ascending model, and a broken-line quadratic (BLQ) ascending model, all of which included heteroskedastic specifications, as dictated by the base model. The GLIMMIX procedure of SAS (version 9.4) was used to fit the base and QP models and the NLMIXED procedure was used to fit the BLL and BLQ models. We further illustrated the use of a grid search of initial parameter values to facilitate convergence and parameter estimation in nonlinear mixed models. Fit between competing dose-response models was compared using a maximum likelihood-based Bayesian information criterion (BIC). The QP, BLL, and BLQ models fitted on G:F of nursery pigs yielded BIC values of 353.7, 343.4, and 345.2, respectively, thus indicating a better fit of the BLL model. The BLL breakpoint estimate of the SID Trp:Lys ratio was 16.5% (95% confidence interval [16.1, 17.0]). Problems with the estimation process rendered results from the BLQ model questionable. Importantly, accounting for heterogeneous variance enhanced inferential precision as the breadth of the confidence interval for the mean breakpoint decreased by approximately 44%. In summary, the article illustrates the use of linear and nonlinear mixed models for dose-response relationships accounting for heterogeneous residual variances, discusses important diagnostics and their implications for inference, and provides practical recommendations for computational troubleshooting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A total of 960 crossbred pigs, initially 34.3 ± 0.50 kg, were used in a 101-d trial to determine the effects of corn particle size and diet form on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing pigs. Pens were randomly allotted by initial weight to 1 of 6 experimental treatments with 8 pens per treatment and 20 pigs per pen. The 6 experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 3 factorial with main effects of final feed form (meal vs. pellet) and corn particle size (650 μm, 350 μm, or an equal blend of the 650 μm and 350 μm ground corn). The 650 μm corn was ground using a two-high roller mill, and the 350 μm corn was ground using a full circle hammer-mill equipped with a 1.59 mm screen. After all corn was ground, the diet containing the blend of particle sizes was manufactured by adding equal portions of the 2 at the mixer. Overall (d 0 to 101), linear particle size × diet form interactions were observed (P < 0.05) for average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain:feed ratio (G:F), because ADFI decreased and G:F increased as particle size was reduced for pigs fed meal diets but was unchanged for pigs fed pelleted diets. Pigs fed pelleted diets had increased (P < 0.05) average daily gain (ADG) compared with pigs fed meal diets. As corn particle size decreased, ADG decreased (linear; P < 0.05). Pigs fed pelleted diets had increased (P < 0.05) hot carcass weight compared with pigs fed meal diets, but no other effects on carcass characteristics were observed. In summary, grinding corn finer than 650 μm decreased ADFI and improved G:F for pigs fed meal diets, but did not affect performance of pigs fed pelleted diets. Pigs fed pelleted diets had improved ADG compared with those fed meal-based diets. Thus, grinding corn finer than 650 μm improved feed efficiency for pigs fed meal diets, but provided no benefit in pelleted diets.
Article · Feb 2016 · Animal Feed Science and Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Finishing pigs (n = 320) were used in a 35-day study to determine the effects of ractopamine-HCl (RAC) and supplemental Zinc (Zn) level on loin eye area (LEA) and gene expression. Pens were randomly allotted to the following treatments for the final 35 days on feed: a corn-soybean meal diet (CON), a diet with 10 ppm RAC (RAC+), and RAC diet plus added Zn at 75, 150, or 225 ppm. Sixteen pigs per treatment were randomly selected for collection of serial muscle biopsies and carcass data on day 0, 8, 18, and 32 of the treatment phase. Compared to CON carcasses, RAC+ carcasses had 12.6% larger (P = 0.03) LEA. Carcasses from RAC diets with added Zn had a tendency for increased (quadratic, P < 0.10) LEA compared to the RAC+ carcasses. Compared to RAC+ pigs, relative expression of IGF1 decreased with increasing levels of Zn on day 8 and 18 of treatment, but expression levels were similar on day 32 due to Zn treatments increasing in expression while the RAC+ treatment decreased (Zn quadratic × day quadratic, P = 0.04). A similar trend was detected for the expression of β1-receptor where expression levels in the RAC+ pigs were greater than Zn supplemented pigs on day 8 and 18 of the experiment, but the magnitude of difference between the treatments was reduced on day 32 due to a decrease in expression by RAC+ pigs and an increase in expression by the Zn pigs (Zn quadratic × day quadratic, P = 0.01). The ability of Zn to prolong the expression of these two genes may be responsible for the tendency of Zn to increase LEA in RAC supplemented pigs.
Full-text Article · Jan 2016 · Animal Biotechnology