Formulating diets based on digestible calcium instead of total calcium does not affect growth performance or carcass characteristics, but microbial phytase ameliorates bone resorption caused by low calcium in diets fed to pigs from 11 to 130 kg

L. Vanessa Lagos, Su A. Lee, Mike R. Bedford, Hans H. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the requirement for Ca expressed as a ratio between standardized total tract digestible (STTD) Ca and STTD P obtained in short-term experiments may be applied to pigs fed diets without or with microbial phytase from 11 to 130 kg. In a 5-phase program, 160 pigs (body weight: 11.2 ± 1.8 kg) were randomly allotted to 32 pens and 4 corn-soybean meal-based diets in a 2 × 2 factorial design with 2 diet formulation principles (total Ca or STTD Ca), and 2 phytase inclusion levels (0 or 500 units/kg of feed) assuming phytase released 0.11% STTD P and 0.16% total Ca. The STTD Ca:STTD P ratios were 1.40:1, 1.35:1, 1.25:1, 1.18:1, and 1.10:1 for phases 1 to 5, and STTD P was at the requirement. Weights of pigs and feed left in feeders were recorded at the end of each phase. At the conclusion of phase 1 (day 24), 1 pig per pen was euthanized and a blood sample and the right femur were collected. At the end of phases 2 to 5, a blood sample was collected from the same pig in each pen. At the conclusion of the experiment (day 126), the right femur of 1 pig per pen was collected and carcass characteristics from this pig were measured. No interactions were observed between diet formulation principle and phytase inclusion for growth performance in any phase and no differences among treatments were observed for overall growth performance. Plasma Ca and P and bone ash at the end of phase 1 were also not influenced by dietary treatments. However, on day 126, pigs fed nonphytase diets formulated based on total Ca had greater bone ash than pigs fed STTD Ca-based diets, but if phytase was used, no differences were observed between the 2 formulation principles (interaction P < 0.05). At the end of phases 2 and 3, pigs fed diets without phytase had greater (P < 0.05) plasma P than pigs fed diets with phytase, but no differences were observed at the end of phases 4 and 5. A negative quadratic effect (P < 0.05) of phase (2 to 5) on the concentration of plasma Ca was observed, whereas plasma P increased (quadratic; P < 0.05) from phases 2 to 5. However, there was no interaction or effect of diet formulation principle or phytase inclusion on any carcass characteristics measured. In conclusion, STTD Ca to STTD P ratios can be used in diet formulation for growing-finishing pigs without affecting growth performance or carcass characteristics and phytase inclusion ameliorates bone resorption caused by low dietary Ca and P.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume99
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • bone ash
  • calcium
  • growth performance
  • phosphorus
  • phytase
  • pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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