Comparative protein and amino acid digestibilities in growing pigs and sows

H. H. Stein, S. Aref, R. A. Eastern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


An experiment was conducted to compare apparent total tract protein digestibilities and apparent ileal digestibilities of protein and amino acids in growing pigs and adult pregnant and lactating sows. Twelve growing pigs and 12 sows were used and surgically fitted with simple T-cannulas at the distal ileum. Six experimental diets based on corn, barley, wheat, soybean meal, canola meal, or meat and bone meal were formulated, and each diet was fed to growing pigs, gestating sows, and lactating sows for 7 d. Chromium oxide was included in all diets as an indigestible marker (.25%) for calculating nutrient digestibilities. Fecal material was collected on d 5 of each feeding period by grab sampling, and ileal samples were collected for 12 h/d during the last 2 d of each feeding period. Apparent fecal protein digestibilities for all feed ingredients were higher (P < .05) in gestating and lactating sows compared to growing pigs, but no differences between the two groups of sows were observed (P > .05). At the distal ileum, no differences (P > .05) in protein digestibilities were detected between sows and growing pigs regardless of feed ingredient. For all feed ingredients tested, lactating sows had apparent ileal digestibilities of most amino acids that were two to six percentage units higher than those obtained in growing pigs, but not all of the differences were significant. Gestating sows had digestibilities of most amino acids that were intermediate between those of growing pigs and lactating sows. The combined results from the six feed ingredients showed that lactating sows had higher (P < .05) digestibilities of all indispensable amino acids except arginine, and gestating sows had higher (P < .05) digestibilities of five of the indispensable amino acids than did growing pigs. The results of this experiment indicate that apparent fecal protein and apparent ileal amino acid digestibilities obtained in growing pigs are not always representative of digestibilities in either gestating or lactating sows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1179
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Amino Acids
  • Digestibility
  • Ileum
  • Protein
  • Sows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative protein and amino acid digestibilities in growing pigs and sows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this