Effects of Dietary Protein on Performance of Pigs for Niche Markets: A Summer Trial
Due to increased demand for niche market pork from pigs reared on bedding, more pigs are being produced in alternative housing systems. Many of these systems are bedded hoop barns. Most current swine growth information has been generated in confinement settings. Better characterization of finishing pigs grown in bedded hoop barns and from the genetic lines designed for niche markets will enable more accurate feed formulation for this type of pig raised in bedded housing systems, producing desirable pork for niche markets. The objective of this study was to increase the intramuscular fat or marbling in pork and monitor the performance of pigs of genetics designed for high value niche markets by feeding lower levels of dietary protein/amino acids. The study was designed to: 1. Generate information on the effects of reduced dietary protein/amino acid levels on performance and intramuscular fat of finishing pigs of niche market genetics reared in bedded hoop barns. 2. Expand understanding of the relationship between rearing environment, dietary protein/amino acid levels, and intramuscular fat in bedded hoop barns.