This paper reports the results of the work of the "Nutrient requirements of heavy pigs" ASPA Commission. The Commission work was mainly focused on the problem of identifying a good and flexible methodology for establishing nutrient requirements of heavy pigs in Italy, in a situation where the major part of the pigs are used for ham and other typical products. Nutrient allowance was considered to be a variable open to manipulation, since its optimal definition depends on the specific circumstances of each single production unit. It appeared that the most logical way to account for the many interactions involved was to integrate available information using computer simulation techniques. A methodology based on the following steps was proposed and analyzed: i) selection of a mathematical model to describe the chemical growth of pigs over time as result of the interactions of genotype, feed and climate; ii) developing suitable equations to predict the quality parameters of the carcass and, if possible, of the single cuts from the body's chemical status and implementation of these equations in the model; iii) identification of production targets and use of the model as a tool to simulate the effect of different genotypes, feed and climate on the productive and the economic results. A model strongly rooted in a theoretical framework, simple enough to be applied in practice and requiring a limited number inputs was selected from literature. From a preliminary evaluation, performed by using experimental calorimetric data, it was concluded that the model was potentially able to accurately predict the chemical growth of pigs under different conditions of feeding and climate. The major lack of knowledge regarded the values of genotypic descriptors of the national pig populations, the evaluation for which some simple experimental protocols are described in literature. Other lack of knowledge involved relationships to predict the anatomical growth and the evolution of quality parameters of carcass and cuts from the chemical composition of the body. If a correlation between the chemical composition of the pig's body and production targets is confirmed, then a link between the farmer and the industry can be established and the model could be used to identify more convenient feeding strategies. The conceptual basis and the way to assess nutrient requirements of heavy pigs have been clearly identified.
|Titolo:||A methodological approach to assess nutrient requirements of heavy pigs in Italy|
|Parole Chiave:||Growth model; Heavy pig; Nutrient requirements|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/18 - Nutrizione e Alimentazione Animale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|