The objective was to define the Val requirement for weaned piglets in the context of reducing the dietary protein content. A dose–response experiment was conducted to estimate the standardized ileal digestible (SID) Val to Lys ratio required to support the optimum growth of post-weaned piglets.
In this study, 96 pigs weighing 8 kg were allotted to one of six dietary treatments (16 pigs for each dietary treatment) and were housed individually. Diets were formulated to provide 0.58, 0.62, 0.66, 0.70, 0.74 and 0.78 SID Val : Lys by adding graded levels of crystalline l-Val to the 0.58 SID Val : Lys diet. Lysine was sub-limiting and supplied 90% of the recommendation (10.95 g SID Lys/kg equal to 11.8 g/kg total Lys). Average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG) and gain to feed ratio (G : F) were determined during a 14-day period of ad libitum feeding. Blood and urine samples were taken at the end of each week (day 7 and 14 of the experiment) 3 h after feeding the experimental diets. The maximum ADFI and ADG were obtained in pigs fed the 0.78 SID Val : Lys diet; it was not different from the results of pigs fed 0.70 SID Val : Lys diet. The highest G : F was obtained in pigs fed 0.70 SID Val : Lys. The plasma concentration of Val increased linearly as the dietary SID Val : Lys increased. The increasing dietary Val : Lys also resulted in a linear increase in Cys and a quadratic increase in Arg, Lys and Phe. The plasma Gly showed a quadratic decrease as the dietary Val : Lys increased. Neither plasma nor urinary urea to creatinine ratio was affected by treatment. The minimum SID Val : Lys required to maximize ADFI, ADG and G : F was estimated at 0.67 SID Val : Lys by a broken-line model, and at 0.71 SID Val : Lys by a curvilinear plateau model. The Val deficiency caused a reduction in ADFI, and Val supplementation above the requirement did not impair animal performance.
In conclusion, 0.70 SID Val : Lys is suggested as the Val requirement for 8 to 14 kg individually housed pigs.
E. A. Soumeh, J. van Milgen, N. M. Sloth, E. Corrent, H. D. Poulsen and J. V. Nørgaard. Requirement of standardized ileal digestible valine to lysine ratio for 8- to 14-kg pigs. Animal, Volume 9, Issue 08, August 2015, pp 1312-1318.