David Baker Symposium
DAVID BAKER SYMPOSIUM
Applied amino acid nutrition continues to provide new and meaningful solutions to support advancements in animal performance, health and sustainability. While there continues to be focus on how amino acid nutrition can be optimized for performance, there remains to be opportunity to optimize applied nutrition for the young pig in order to support the weaning transition. As alternatives for antibiotics and heavy metals continue to be explored, their success will in large part depend upon the successful application of amino acid nutrition. There are several complicating factors related to applying amino acid nutrition in the young pig. First, intestinal function at weaning is compromised, resulting in reduced digestive and absorptive capacity. From an amino acid nutrition standpoint, this can lead to increased N flow into the hindgut where it can be fermented into inflammatory irritants, resulting in diarrhea and poor growth. Second, ideal protein models for digestive health are scarce and often approaches of limiting lysine inclusion as a percent of crude protein are used as an alternative. Third, the application of amino acid nutrition is based upon digestibility values obtained from older animals. Review of the literature indicates that these are in excess of what the young pig can digest, further impacting the N flow to the ileum and hindgut. As we continue to apply amino acid nutrition at the commercial level, we must look for solutions to address these items while more basic work can be done to obtain the needed information on digestibility and requirements.