Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1998


Published in 1998 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane E. Reese, Associate Professor and Extension Swine Specialist, Department of Animal Science. Prepared by the staff in Animal Science and cooperating Departments for use in Extension, Teaching and Research programs. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary protein concentration on growth performance, plasma urea concentration, liver weight and liver arginase activity of finishing (138 lb) barrows and gilts. Average daily feed intake, arginase activity and plasma urea concentration were greater in barrows than in gilts, whereas liver weight was lighter in barrows than in gilts. These data suggest gilts are affected more negatively by high protein diets than barrows. We believe the changes in liver weight and urea cycle enzymes (arginase) are related to these feed intake differences.