Technical note: Effect of determining baseline plasma urea nitrogen concentrations on subsequent posttreatment plasma urea nitrogen concentrations in 20- to 50-kilogram pigs

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Plasma urea N (PUN) has been used as an indicator of AA requirements and efficiency of AA utilization in swine. However, PUN concentrations vary among a population of pigs, even a population with a close range of BW and fed the same diet. Thus, pre-treatment or baseline PUN concentrations are used as a covariate to reduce variation of posttreatment PUN. However, this procedure increases experimental costs and stress to the pigs. Data from 14 experiments (26 to 28 d in duration) conducted using PUN as a response variable were compiled into 1 data set. Each experiment had 4 to 6 treatments. The purpose of this technical report was to summarize the effect of determining pre-treatment baseline PUN concentrations on subsequent posttreatment PUN concentrations in 20- to 50-kg pigs. In all experiments, pigs were fed corn- and soybean meal-based diets and low-CP diets with various AA additions; pigs were assigned to dietary treatments in a randomized complete block design with a minimum of 4 replicates of 3 to 5 pigs each. Before the start of each experiment, all pigs were fed a common diet for a minimum of 3 d. Blood samples were collected from each pig before allotment to dietary treatments (d 0) and at the end of each experiment. The baseline (d 0) PUN was analyzed as a covariate for posttreatment PUN. Data from each experiment were analyzed without and with baseline PUN in the statistical model. In all experiments combined, there were 768 possible treatment comparisons. The covariate baseline PUN was statistically significant (P < 0.10) in 9 of 14 experiments. However, only 8 treatment differences changed statistical significance as a result of analyzing the data with baseline PUN as a covariate. These 8 treatment differences were in 3 experiments. These results indicate that it is not always necessary to determine baseline PUN concentrations when feeding diets with large differences in AA content. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Animal Science

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