Reducing the crude
protein level in piglet feeds

A compilation of available data on piglets is presented in Figure 2. The reduction of the dietary CP level has been performed by formulating on the NE system using feed-grade amino acids and the Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Europe's amino acids profile that corresponds to the piglet requirement.

Figure 2. Effect of lowering dietary crude protein (CP) level on the growth performance of piglets while maintaining a constant ideal amino acid profile (average daily gain, ADG in orange; average daily feed intake, ADFI in blue; feed conversion ratio, FCR in black).

These experiments confirm the possibility to reduce the CP level in the feed (from 20.5 to 15.5%) without affecting weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency, provided that indispensable amino acids profile is kept optimal.

Further reduction of the crude protein level in piglet feed thanks to L-Valine

The results of three experiments with the same experimental designs were gathered (Figure 3). Three diets were tested: a positive control with a high level of CP, a negative control with a low level of CP and low SID Val:Lys ratio (below the piglet requirement) and a third diet corresponding to the negative control supplemented with 1.5 kg/T of L-Valine to achieve the SID Val:Lys piglet requirement. Within a trial, the SID lysine to NE ratio is kept constant. The diets were supplemented with L-Lysine, L-Threonine, DL-Methionine, and L-Tryptophan to meet piglets' requirements.

Figure 3. Effect of lowering dietary crude protein (CP) level on the average daily gain (g/d) of piglets. Animals were fed high CP, low CP or low CP + 1.5 kg/T L-Valine diets.

The use of low CP diet with no supplementation of L-Valine leads to a significant depletion of growth performance. When L-Valine is added, piglets recovered the performance level of the positive control.

Piglets are not sensitive to dietary CP level as long as they receive indispensable amino acids in appropriate quantities and proportion to meet their requirements. It is thus possible to avoid gut disorders by lowering the dietary CP level without depleting growth performance.

For further information, please read our technical bulletins: numerous experimental results are reported.