Date of this Version
U.S. Government Work
This study evaluated the effect of diets differing in standard ileal digestible (SID) lysine on lysine intake, growth rate, body composition and age at puberty on maternal line gilts. Crossbred Large White×Landrace gilts (n =641) were fed corn-soybean diets differing in SID lysine concentration (%, g SID lysine:Mcal ME); diets were not isocaloric. Gilts received three grower, finisher diet combinations: low (0.68% lysine grower, 0.52% lysine finisher), medium (0.79% lysine grower, 0.60% lysine finisher) or high (0.90% lysine grower, 0.68% lysine finisher). Grower diets were fed from 100 until 142 days of age, and finisher diets were fed until they reached 220 days of age. Body weight (BW), backfat thickness (BF), and loin depth (LD) were recorded every 28 days. From 160–220 days of age, gilts were exposed daily to vasectomized boars and observed for behavioral estrus. Gilts fed the low lysine diet had lower average daily gain and BW (P < 0.05), but not fat depth:LD ratio. The percentage of gilts that displayed natural estrus by 220 days of age was low but not different among dietary treatments (low 27.7%, medium 31.0% and high 37.7%, respectively; P=0.1201). Gilts fed the high and medium diets reached puberty 10 and 6 days earlier, however, than gilts fed the low lysine diet (P < 0.05). The rate of puberty attainment may have been less because all gilts contracted porcine epidemic diarrhea (PEDv) just as boar exposure was to begin for the first group of gilts. Results from the present study indicate that growth rate and age at puberty can be altered by ad libitum fed diets that differ in SID lysine concentration.