An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding schedule on dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), crude protein (CP), and amino acid (AA) digestibility by growing pigs. Six growing castrates (initial body weight: 40.5 ± 2.25 kg) were equipped with a T-cannula in the distal ileum and allotted to a repeated 3 × 3 Latin square design with three animals and three periods in each square. A maize-soybean meal based diet (181 g CP/kg) was formulated and fed to the pigs in three different feeding schedules; i.e., one meal per day, two meals per day, or free access to feed. Pigs fed one or two meals per day were allotted a daily amount of feed equivalent to three times the maintenance energy requirement. Fecal and ileal samples were collected from all pigs in each period. The coefficients of ileal apparent digestibility (CIAD) for DM, GE, CP, and AA were calculated as were the coefficients of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of DM and GE. Results of the experiment showed that there were no differences in the CIAD for DM, GE, or for any of the AA among the three feeding schedules. In contrast, pigs given free access to the diet had lower (P<0.002) CTTAD for DM and GE compared with pigs fed a restricted amount of feed either once or twice daily. Therefore, the concentration of digestible energy in the diet was lower if calculated from pigs given free access to the diet compared with pigs fed the diet once or twice daily (14.38 MJ/kg versus 14.83 MJ/kg and 15.13 MJ/kg). It is concluded that the feeding schedule does not influence the CIAD for DM, GE, CP, or AA by pigs. Therefore, any of the three feeding schedules that were used in the current experiment may be used in experiments aimed at measuring CIAD in pigs. However, if the CTTAD of DM and GE are measured, it is recommended that pigs are given free access to feed.
- Amino acids
- Feeding schedule