Effects of body weight and research conditions on the productive energy content of corn germ meal fed to growing-finishing pigs

Abstract

Four experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of corn germ meal (CGM) inclusion level on growth performance and carcass traits of pigs, and to determine the productive energy (PE) of CGM by correcting ME estimates for caloric efficiency relative to a control (reference diet). All four experiments used a RCBD. The first two experiments were conducted from weaning (~6.5 kg BW) to finishing (~130 kg BW) at a commercial facility with CGM inclusions that ranged from 0 (Control) to 40%. The corn-soybean meal-based control diet (0% CGM) was used as the reference diet to compare with the CGM diets to estimate PE. Caloric efficiency (calories consumed per unit of weight gain) was calculated for each treatment using the feed:gain ratio. The ME value of CGM used to formulate diets in the first experiment was 3,037 kcal/kg. In this study, increasing CGM level linearly increased feed:gain (P 0.05) in both experiments but numerically very different in Exp. 2 (2,465, 2,568, and 2,439, respectively, for Exp.1, and 2,455, 1,829, and 1,924, respectively, for Exp. 2). For Exp. 1 (commercial conditions), adding fat to the CGM diet resulted in similar productive ME estimates for CGM compared to CGM‒No Fat diet when measured during the whole of the Growing-Finishing period. Under university conditions (Exp. 2), fat addition to the CGM diet resulted in variable PE estimates between growing periods, and numerically greater values than those obtained with the CGM-No Fat diets. The results of these experiments suggest that the PE of CGM should be determined under commercial research conditions due to the variable results obtained under university conditions. Also, estimating PE over a limited part of the growing period resulted in similar PE estimates to those obtained during the whole of the growing-finishing period

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