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Amino Acid Imbalance with Excess Methionine in Late-Finishing Pigs: Effects on Performance and Carcass Quality

The outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the spring of 2020, resulted in the shutdown of numerous pork harvest facilities across the country. This resulted in many complications in the hog production supply chain with one key area involving slowing the growth of late-finishing market hogs to ensure pigs were marketable when facilities reopened. One method for reducing growth and feed intake would be using higher levels of amino acids to create what are called amino acid imbalances. Research in pigs (Edmonds and Baker, 1987) showed significant depressions in growth with 4% added Methionine (Met). In preliminary research involving a very severe amino acid imbalance (Edmonds and Smith, 2020) with late-finishing pigs, we observed dramatic weight losses of 3.6 lb per day with feed intakes of 1.75 lb per day from excess Met of 3.15% in low protein diets over a 3 day period. The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of various constant and/or subsequent increases in DL-Met as a way to reduce feed intake and growth rate in late-finishing pigs over a five week period.

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