• Effect of phosphorus level and phytase inclusion on the performance, bone mineral concentration, apparent nutrient digestibility, and on mineral and nitrogen utilisation in finisher pigs.

      Varley, T.F.; Callan, J.J.; O'Doherty, John V. (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      Two experiments were conducted to investigate the interaction between dietary P concentration and phytase (PHY) inclusion in the diet of finisher pigs. In Experiment 1, the growth performance and bone analysis experiment, pigs (6 replicate groups of 14 pigs each per treatment; initial body weight (BW) = 45.2 kg) were allocated to one of six dietary treatments (for 74 days) in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement: T1 – available P in the diet = 1.5 g/kg; T2 = T1 with 500 units of phytase (FTU)/kg; T3 – available P = 2.0 g/kg; T4 = T3 with 500 FTU/kg; T5 – available P = 2.5 g/kg; T6 = T5 with 500 FTU/kg. Experiment 2 consisted of a digestibility and a P, Ca and N balance study, and pigs (6 per treatment; initial BW = 67.3 kg) were offered identical diets to those offered in Experiment 1. There was an interaction between dietary P level and PHY inclusion for average daily gain (ADG) and carcass weight (CW; P < 0.05) in Experiment 1. Pigs offered the low P diet supplemented with PHY had a higher ADG and CW than pigs offered the non-PHY, low P diet. However, there was no effect (P > 0.05) of PHY inclusion on ADG or CW with the medium or high P diets. Higher concentrations of ash, P and Ca in bone were noted in pigs offered the medium and high P diets (P < 0.001) and PHY (P < 0.01) diets when compared to pigs offered the low P without PHY. Pigs offered diets supplemented with PHY had lower faecal P output (P < 0.01) and a higher P digestibility (P < 0.001) and P retention (P < 0.05) than pigs offered diets without added PHY. In conclusion, supplementation of a low-P finisher diet with PHY resulted in pigs that had a similar carcass weight, but weaker bones than pigs offered a medium or high P diet.