Interrelationships between sex and dietary lysine on growth performance and carcass composition of finishing boars and gilts

Pau Aymerich*, Carme Soldevila, Jordi Bonet, Mercè Farré, Josep Gasa, Jaume Coma, David Solà-Oriol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The main goals of this study were to determine whether boars and gilts respond differently to the standardized ileal digestible lysine to net energy ratio (SID Lys:NE) and model the response to optimize growth performance. A total of 780 finishing pigs, 390 boars and 390 gilts [Pietrain NN × (Landrace × Large White)], with an initial individual body weight of 70.4 ± 9.2 for boars and 68.7 ± 8.0 kg for gilts, were used in a 41-d dose–response experiment. Pens (13 pigs per pen) were randomly allocated to a dietary treatment (2.64, 3.05, 3.46, 3.86, 4.27 g SID Lys/ Mcal NE) by block and sex, with six replicates per treatment and sex. Two isoenergetic diets (2,460 kcal NE/kg), representing the extreme SID Lys:NE, were formulated and then mixed. Pigs were individually weighed at days 0, 22, and 41, when the experiment finished. The differential effect of SID Lys:NE on growth performance and carcass composition between sexes was analyzed with orthogonal polynomial contrasts to compare the linear and quadratic trends in each sex. In addition, broken-line linear (BLL) models to optimize average daily gain (ADG), including average daily feed intake (ADFI) as a covariate, were fitted when possible. As expected, boars had a greater ADG and feed efficiency (G:F; P < 0.001) than gilts, but there was no evidence of differences in ADFI (P = 0.470). Increasing SID Lys:NE had a greater linear impact on boars ADG (P = 0.087), G:F (P = 0.003), and carcass leanness (P = 0.032). In contrast, gilts showed a greater linear increase in SID Lys intake per kg gain (P < 0.001) and feed cost per kg gain (P = 0.005). The best fitting BLL models showed that boars maximized ADG at 3.63 g SID Lys/ Mcal NE [95% confidence interval (CI): (3.32 to 3.94)], although another model with a similar fit, compared with the Bayesian information criterion, reported the optimum at 4.01 g SID Lys/ Mcal NE [95% CI: (3.60, 4.42)]. The optimum to maximize ADG for gilts was estimated at 3.10 g SID Lys/Mcal NE [95% CI: (2.74, 3.47)]. Thus, the present study confirmed that boars and gilts have a different linear response to SID Lys:NE, explained by the greater protein deposition potential of boars. Likewise, BLL models indicated that boars require a higher SID Lys:NE to maximize ADG from 70 to 89 kg. These results suggest that split feeding of finishing boars and gilts could be beneficial in terms of both performance and cost return.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbertxaa129
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Boars
  • Finishing pig
  • Gilts
  • Lysine
  • Requirements


Dive into the research topics of 'Interrelationships between sex and dietary lysine on growth performance and carcass composition of finishing boars and gilts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this