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High-fat Diets Improve the Performance of Growing-Finishing Pigs

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A growth experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of high-fat diets (10% added fat) for growing-finishing pigs. The experiment comprised 40 growing-finishing pigs from 10 litters with an average initial weight of 23.4 kg and average final weight of 104.1 kg. The experiment consisted of a growing period from week 0 to 7 and a finishing period from week 8 to slaughter. During the growing, finishing and overall periods, the high-fat diet gave a significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) and better feed efficiency as kg feed per kg of weight gain (F/G) compared with a low-fat diet (1.5% added fat). Overall, the high-fat diet also gave higher ADG, lower total feed intake, better feed/gain and a shorter time to market of 6.3 days (P<0.01), compared with the low-fat diet. There were no significant differences between diets for P2 backfat thickness, lean percentage (GP2Q), carcass meatiness or meat area in cutlet, but the high-fat diets tended to reduce the fat area in the cutlet. Carcass quality determined by the primal cut method, however, revealed a significantly lower lean percentage and a significantly higher fat percentage of pigs fed with high-fat diets. In conclusion, the use of high-fat diets improved growth performance with only minor negative effects on carcass quality. Thus, the addition of 10% rendered fat to diets had a positive effect on growth performance, but led to a slight increase in the fat content of the carcass.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 26, 1999

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