The Effects of Dietary Protein Concentration on Performance and Visceral Organ Mass in Finishing Barrows and Gilts

University of Nebraska 1996 Swine Day Report. The response of finishing barrows and gilts to five dietary protein concentrations was evaluated. Barrows and gilts have different requirements for protein and differ in their sensitivities to excessive intakes of protein. Gilts appeared to be affected by dietary protein concentrations to a greater extent than did barrows. Significant differences in weight gain did not occur but, the lowest average daily gain was for pigs fed the two highest protein levels. Increased dietary protein concentration resulted in increased liver, kidney, and pancreas weights. These data indirectly suggest that maintenance energy requirements of barrows and gilts may be increased as dietary protein concentration is increased, even though there was no significant reduction in growth rate or feed efficiency. Consumption of protein above the requirement (corn-soybean meal diets) results in protein (amino acids) wastage because the animal is unable to convert dietary amino acids to body protein.