Phosphorus requirements of growing-finishing pigs reared in a commercial environment

A challenge in animal production today is to raise livestock within new environmental rules and regulations. Although most states in the United States regulate swine waste application based on N concentration, more are changing to P-based regulations.
Tuesday 6 October 2009 (8 years 11 months 20 days ago)
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CW Hastad*, SS Dritz*, MD Tokach*, RD Goodband*, JL Nelssen*, JM DeRouchey*, RD Boyd y ME Johnston
*Department of Animal Sciences and Industry y PIC USA, Franklin, USA



A challenge in animal production today is to raise livestock within new environmental rules and regulations. Although most states in the United States regulate swine waste application based on N concentration, more are changing to P-based regulations. Because of the amounts of N and P in swine waste and their different rate of uptake by most plants, P concentration can be first limiting for waste application if soil P accumulation is not permitted. Therefore, reevaluation of P requirements of swine is an important step in minimizing its excretion. In evaluating available P (aP) requirement estimates, several studies have demonstrated that growth performance will not be negatively affected by feeding 66% of the aP requirement estimate of NRC (1998; Mavromichalis et al., 1999; Shaw et al., 2002). However, pigs raised in typical university research setting (2 to 10 pigs per pen) have been observed to consume approximately 30% more feed than those in commercial facilities (25 to 27 pigs per pen and 1,000 pigs per barn). Therefore the objective of this study was to identify available phosphorus (aP) requirements of pigs reared in commercial facilities.

In Exp. 1, 1,260 gilts (initially 33.8 kg) were allotted randomly to one of five dietary treatments containing 0.18, 0.22, 0.25, 0.29, or 0.32% aP, corresponding to 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, or 0.9 g of aP/Mcal of ME. There were 28 pigs per pen and nine pens per treatment. From d 0 to 14, increasing aP increased ADG (linear, P = 0.03; Table 1) and G:F (quadratic, P = 0.07), with the greatest response observed as aP increased from 0.18 to 0.22% (G:F breakpoint = 0.22%). However, from d 0 to 26, no differences (P = 0.12 to 0.81) were observed for any growth traits. Pooled bending moment of the femur, sixth rib, and third and fourth metatarsals increased (linear, P = 0.007) with increasing aP (Table 2). The linear nature of the response from d 0 to 14, followed by no overall response to increasing aP, makes estimating a requirement difficult. The d-0 to -14 data may provide a more applicable requirement estimate because of the potential for P mobilization from bone tissue being directed to meet requirements for lean tissue growth.We speculate that d-0 to -14 ADG and G:F were decreased immediately by low dietary aP concentrations, but by d 14 to 28, P was mobilized from bone tissue to meet the requirement for growth of pigs fed low aP concentrations. However, this resulted in low bone ash concentration. An alternative hypothesis decreased between the first 14 d of the study to the last 12 d. Because the apparent requirement estimate changed so dramatically over the 26-d study and because of the possibility of bone P mobilization meeting the pig’s requirement, we believe the d-0 to -14 aP estimate of 0.22% corresponding to 0.60 g of aP/Mcal of ME and 3.30 g of aP/d to be a conservative and more accurate requirement for the entire 26-d period.

Table 1. Effects of increasing available phosphorus (aP) on growing pig growth performance, Exp. 1a
Dietary aP, %
P -value
Item 0,18 0,22 0,25 0,29 0,32 Linear Quadratic SEM
D 0 to14
ADG, g 792 840 826 854 837 0,03 0,12 15
ADFI, kg 1,50 1,46 1,48 1,45 1,49 0,66 0,24 0,26
G:F 0,53 0,58 0,56 0,59 0,57 0,06 0,07 0,014
aP intake, g/db 2,70 3,21 3,69 4,20 4,76 0,01 0,62 0,07
D 14 to26
ADG, g 881 886 889 891 883 0,89 0,70 19
ADFI, kg 1,55 1,55 1,56 1,59 1,57 0,45 0,79 0,35
G:F 0,57 0,57 0,57 0,56 0,57 0,68 0,93 0,016
aP intake, g/db 2,79 3,41 3,91 4,62 5,02 0,01 0,51 0,01
D 0 to26
ADG, g 833 861 855 871 858 0,12 0,19 12
ADFI, kg 1,52 1,50 1,52 1,52 1,52 0,81 0,63 0,26
G:F 0,55 0,58 0,57 0,58 0,57 0,35 0,22 0,012
aP intake, g/db 2,74 3,30 3,79 4,39 4,89 0,01 0,89 0,07
a A total of 1,260 gilts, initially 33.8 kg BW, was used. Values represent the means of 28 pigs per pen and nine pens per treatment.
b Calculated dietary aP values multiplied by the ADFI.

Table 2. Effects of increasing available phosphorus (aP) on growing pig bone properties, Exp. 1a
Dietary aP, % P -value
Item 0,18 0,22 0,25 0,29 0,32 Linear Quadratic SEM
Metatarsal 3
Bending moment, kg/cm 36 28 24 28 33 0,77 0,18 7,6
Ash, % 49,1 52,1 50,1 50,3 49,8 0,97 0,51 1,9
Metatarsal 4
Bending moment, kg/cm 37 32 37 37 32 0,82 0,76 4,7
Ash, % 46,3 49,5 48,1 48,4 49,8 0,01 0,40 0,6
Rib
Bending moment, kg/cm 19 26 25 28 28 0,001 0,03 1,2
Ash, % 47,1 48,1 48,3 48,8 48,3 0,16 0,64 0,9
Femur b
Bending moment, kg/cm 289 338 319 339 338 0,01 0,17 11,8
a One pig from each pen was randomly selected for harvest of bones. Values represent the mean of nine observations per treatment.
b Percentage of bone ash was not conducted on femurs.

In Exp. 2, 1,239 gilts (initially 88.5 kg BW) were randomly allotted to one of five dietary treatments containing 0.05,0.10, 0.14, 0.19, or 0.23% aP, equivalent to 0.14, 0.28, 0.39, 0.53, or 0.64 g of aP/Mcal of ME. The diet with 0.05% aP contained no added inorganic P. From d 0 to 14, increasing aP increased (linear, P = .008 to 0.02; Table 2) ADG and G:F; however like Exp. 1, from d 0 to 28, increasing aP had no effect (P = 0.17 to 0.74; Table 3) on growth performance. Increasing aP increased (linear, P < 0.001 to 0.04) metacarpal bone ash percent and bending moment (Table 4). Results suggest that 33- to 55-kg pigs require approximately 0.22% aP, which corresponds to 0.60 g of aP/Mcal of ME or 3.30 g of aP/d to maximize ADG and G:F compared with NRC (1998) estimates of 0.23%, 0.70 g of aP/Mcal of ME, and 4.27 g of aP/d for 20- to 50-kg pigs. Finishing pigs (88 to 109 kg) require at least 0.19% aP, corresponding to 0.53 g of aP/Mcal of ME or 4.07 g aP/d compared with NRC (1998) estimates of 0.15%, 0.46 g of aP/Mcal of ME and 4.61 g of aP/d for 80- to 120-kg pigs. However, the percentage of bone ash and bending moment continued to increase with increasing aP. These data also suggest that complete removal of supplemental P in diets for finishing pigs (>88 kg) will decrease ADG and G:F.

Table 3. Effects of increasing available phosphorus (aP) on finishing pig growth performance, Exp. 2a
Dietary aP, % P -value
Item 0,05 0,10 0,14 0,19 0,23 Linear Quadratic SEM
D 0 to14
ADG, g 621 683 691 734 707 0,008 0,14 26
ADFI, kg 1,92 2,01 2,01 2,03 1,96 0,43 0,10 0,45
G:F 0,33 0,34 0,34 0,36 0,36 0,02 0,66 0,012
aP intake g/db 0,96 2,00 2,81 3,86 4,51 0,01 0,01 0,05
D 14 to28
ADG, g 763 738 760 756 763 0,89 0,82 43
ADFI, kg 2,25 2,19 2,28 2,24 2,28 0,49 0,73 0,56
G:F 0,34 0,34 0,33 0,34 0,33 0,92 0,93 0,014
aP intake g/db 1,12 2,19 3,19 4,26 5,25 0,01 0,78 0,08
D 0to 28
ADG, g 696 713 728 746 737 0,17 0,63 26
ADFI, kg 2,10 2,10 2,15 2,14 2,13 0,34 0,52 0,39
G:F 0,33 0,34 0,34 0,35 0,35 0,19 0,74 0,009
aP intake g/db 1,05 2,10 3,01 4,07 4,91 0,01 0,11 0,05
a 1,236 gilts, initially 88.5 kg BW, were used. Values represent the means of 27 or 28 pigs per pen and nine pens per treatment.
b Calculated dietary aP values multiplied by the ADFI

Table 4. Effects of increasing available phosphorus (aP) on finishing pig bone properties, Exp. 2a
Dietary aP, % P -value
Item 0,05 0,10 0,14 0,19 0,23 Linear Quadratic SEM
Metacarpal 3
Bending moment, kg/cm 100 111 118 113 120 0,003 0,24 4,36
Ash, % 50,1 50,7 51,9 52,0 52,1 0,001 0,14 0,36
Metacarpal 4
Bending moment, kg/cm 93 96 93 97 96 0,59 0,93 4,34
Ash, % 51,2 51,6 51,8 52,7 53,3 0,001 0,48 0,52
a Two pigs were randomly selected from each pen for harvest of bones. Values represent the mean of nine observations per treatment.
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