Piglets diet supplemented with amino acid valine
The goals of these trials were to investigate the effects of different dietary amino acid concentrations and valine:lysine ratios on piglet performance and health. Two 4-week trials with 90 weaned piglets each were conducted. Both trials were set up as a block design with 3 treatments and 6 replicates per treatment (a total of 18 pens with 5 piglets each). The following treatments were tested: Trial 1: (i) 14.0 MJ DE, 180 g CP, 12.5 g lysine, 8.6 g valine; (ii) 14.0 MJ DE, 165 g CP, 11.5 g lysine, 7.9 g valine; (iii) 14.0 MJ DE, 165 g CP, 11.5 g lysine, 8.5 g valine. Trial 2: (i) 14.0 MJ DE, 180 CP, 12.4 g lysine, 8.6 g valine; (ii) 14.0 MJ DE, 165 g CP, 12.4 g lysine, 7.9 g valine; (iii) 14.0 MJ DE, 165 g CP, 12.4 g lysine, 8.6 g valine. In trial 1, the higher crude protein and amino acid concentrations led to a significant improvement in FCR (1.43a, vs 1.53b and 1.51b kg/kg; P<0.05). Increasing the amino acid concentrations in the treatment with reduced CP concentration allowed maintain performance to be maintained at the level of the standard diet in trial 2. The supplementation of the essential amino acid valine did not affect performance or animal health in either trial.