Changes in weight and composition in various tissues of pregnant gilts and their nutritional implications.
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The objectives of this study were to characterize the quantitative changes in various body tissues of high-lean type gilts during gestation and to determine the protein needs of pregnant gilts based on changes in tissue contents. Thirty-five gilts (158.2 +/- 8.3 kg) were housed in individual gestation crates with six unbred gilts randomly selected and slaughtered to provide data for d 0 of gestation. The remaining gilts were bred and assigned randomly to one of six slaughter groups: d 45, 60, 75, 90, 102, and 112. Gilts were fed 2 kg (as-fed basis) of gestation diet daily (3.1 Mcal/kg of ME and 0.56% lysine). Carcass soft tissue, bone, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, pancreas, kidney, liver, uterus, fetus, mammary gland, and the remaining viscera were separated and weighed. Carcass soft tissue, liver, remaining viscera, uterus, and gastrointestinal tract were ground, freeze-dried, and analyzed for composition. Body weights of the gilts increased quadratically (P < 0.001) during gestation. Weights of carcass soft tissue and uterus, including placenta, increased linearly (P < 0.001) during gestation. Weights of individual fetuses, fetal litters, individual mammary glands, and the entire mammary glands increased cubically (P < 0.001) during gestation. Crude protein in carcass soft tissue increased cubically (P < 0.01), whereas DM and ether extract (EE) in carcass soft tissue increased linearly (P < 0.01). The DM, CP, and EE in the entire mammary glands increased quadratically (P < 0.001) during gestation. The DM, CP, and EE in fetal litter increased cubically (P < 0.01) as gestation progressed. The accretion rates of the conceptus, fetal litter, individual fetus, individual mammary gland, and CP in fetal litter differed (P < 0.05) before and after d 70 of gestation. The CP daily gain from all maternal and fetal tissues was 40 and 103 g/d before and after d 70 of gestation, respectively, suggesting that pregnant gilts may require different quantities of dietary protein during gestation. Based on the maintenance requirement, maternal tissue gain, and conceptus gain, pregnant gilts require 6.8 and 15.3 g/d of true ileal-digestible lysine (or 147 and 330 g/d of true ileal-digestible protein) before and after d 70 of gestation, respectively, to support their true biological needs.