Phosphorus studies in pigs

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Journal Article
British Journal of Nutrition, 1993, 70 (1), pp. 249 - 268
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Two experiments were conducted to determine the available P requirements of grower and grower/finisher pigs and to define the conditions for conducting a growth assay for P availability. In the first experiment, diets with four levels of calculated available P (1–4 g/kg) and four Ca: available P ratios (1·7-2·9) were used to determine the available P requirements of grower pigs. The diets were formulated by substituting the required amounts of limestone and sodium tripolyphosphate for sugar in a soyabean meal and sugar-based diet. In addition to measuring growth responses, a range of bones were examined to determine the most suitable criteria for assessing the response to available P. There was a small quadratic response of feed intake and growth rate of the pigs to level of available P, with maximum responses occurring to approximately 3 g available P/kg (P < 0·05). There were linear depressing effects of increasing Ca:available P ratios on carcass gain and feed conversion ratio (P < 0·01) but most of these effects occurred when the ratio exceeded 2-5:1. All bone variables examined increased linearly (P < 0·05) or curvilinearly (P <0·01) with increasing available P concentration. In general, these variables were not affected by the Ca:available P ratio. The results of the growth responses and bone development indicate that the grower pig requires approximately 3 g available P/kg. However, for availability assays, where linearity of response is needed, the dietary concentration of available P should be a maximum of approximately 2 g/kg. In the second experiment four levels of calculated available P (1–4 g/kg) with a Ca:available P ratio of 2·5:1 were used to determine the available P requirements of grower/finisher pigs from 20 to 90 kg live weight. At 50 kg live weight the dietary available P concentration for half the pigs fed at 2, 3 and 4 g available P/kg was reduced to 1, 2 and 3 g/kg respectively. The pigs were fed ad lib. and growth performance, bone characteristics, P retention and ash concentration in the empty body were taken as response criteria to assess P adequacy. Among the variables tested, the ash concentration in the radius/ulna bone and P and ash concentrations in the empty body appeared to be more responsive than other variables to the changes in dietary P levels. Based on these variables, the P requirements for growth and bone development of growing pigs from 20 to 50 kg live weight was 3 g/kg and reduced to 2 g/kg for finisher pigs from 50 to 90 kg live weight. © 1993, The Nutrition Society. All rights reserved.
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