1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Quantify the performance of pigs selected for increased feed efficiency under corn-soybean diets when fed lower quality by-product ingredients (higher fiber, lower fat).
2. Evaluate the ability of pigs selected for increased efficiency to cope with behavioral, physiological, and immunological stressors.
3. Develop industry-ready tools to easily and effectively identify and select more efficient pigs.
4. Increase pork producers’ awareness of the factors influencing feed efficiency and strategies available to achieve improvement.
5. Ensure the rapid and effective implementation of new technologies to improve feed efficiency both nationally and internationally.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Genetic lines of pigs that are divergent in residual feed intake will be evaluated for nutrient utilization and response to various stressors. Different dietary regimens will also be investigated in the different genetic lines of pigs. The USDA/ARS scientists will participate in conducting the nutrient balance study portions of the overall experiment. The university collaborators will be responsible for the extension components of the research. This research will consist of both live animal studies and laboratory analyses.
In collaboration with scientists at Iowa State University, two genetic lines of pigs were selected that were divergent in residual feed intake which were subsequently fed a standard or low-energy, high-fiber diet. To date, animal performance data has been obtained from this experiment with fecal samples currently being analyzed for energy and various nutrients to determine nutrient digestibility and balance.