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J Anim Sci. 2011 Nov;89(11):3572-9. doi: 10.2527/jas.2010-3302. Epub 2011 May 27.

Impact of dietary energy level and ractopamine on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of finishing pigs.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211, USA.

Abstract

A total of 54 finishing barrows (initial BW = 99.8 ± 5.1 kg; PIC C22 × 337) reared in individual pens were allotted to 1 of 6 dietary treatments in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with 2 levels of ractopamine (0 and 7.4 mg/kg) and 3 levels of dietary energy (high, 3,537; medium, 3,369; and low, 3,317 kcal of ME/kg) to determine the effects of dietary ractopamine and various energy levels on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of finishing pigs. High-energy diets were corn-soybean-meal-based with 4% added fat; medium-energy diets were corn-soybean meal based with 0.5% added fat; and low-energy diets were corn-soybean meal based with 0.5% added fat and 15% wheat middlings. Diets within each ractopamine level were formulated to contain the same standardized ileal digestible Lys:ME (0 mg/kg, 1.82; and 7.4 mg/kg, 2.65 g/Mcal of ME). Individual pig BW and feed disappearance were recorded at the beginning and conclusion (d 21) of the study. On d 21, pigs were slaughtered for determination of carcass characteristics and meat quality. No ractopamine × energy level interactions (P > 0.10) were observed for any response criteria. Final BW (125.2 vs. 121.1 kg), ADG (1.2 vs. 1.0 kg/d), and G:F (0.31 vs. 0.40) were improved (P < 0.001) with feeding of ractopamine diets. Feeding of the low-energy diet reduced (P = 0.001) final BW and ADG compared with the high- and medium-energy diets. Gain:feed was reduced (P = 0.005) when the medium-energy diets were fed compared with the high-energy diets. Additionally, G:F was reduced (P = 0.002) when the low-energy diets were compared with the high- and medium-energy diets. Feeding ractopamine diets increased (P < 0.05) HCW (93.6 vs. 89.9 kg) and LM area (51.2 vs. 44.2 cm(2)). The LM pH decline was reduced (P ≤ 0.05) by feeding ractopamine diets. The feeding of low-energy diets reduced (P = 0.001) HCW when compared with the high- and medium-energy diets and reduced (P = 0.024) 10th-rib backfat when compared with the high- and medium-energy diet. These data indicate that feeding ractopamine diets improved growth performance and carcass characteristics, while having little or no detrimental effect on meat quality. Reductions in energy content of the diet by adding 15% wheat middlings resulted in impaired ADG, G:F, and 10th-rib backfat. There were no ractopamine × energy level interactions in this trial, which indicates that the improvements resulting from feeding ractopamine were present regardless of the dietary energy levels.

PMID:
21622875
DOI:
10.2527/jas.2010-3302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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