Estimation of calcium and phosphorus content in growing and finishing pigs: Whole empty body components and relative accretion rates

L. A. Pettey, G. L. Cromwell, Y. D. Jang, M. D. Lindemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Two comparative serial-slaughter experiments were conducted to determine whole empty body (WEB) composition and accretion rates of Ca and P in 18 to 109 kg BW pigs to provide information for modeling of these nutrients for growth. Both studies were conducted with 5 sets of 5 littermate barrows which were allotted to 5 slaughter groups in each study (Exp. 1: 18, 27, 36, 45, and 54 kg BW; Exp. 2: 36, 54, 73, 91, and 109 kg BW). Pigs were fed corn–soybean meal–based diets fortified with minerals and vitamins in 2 dietary phases in Exp. 1 (Phase 1: 18 to 36 kg BW; Phase 2: 36 to 54 kg BW) and 3 dietary phases in Exp. 2 (Phase 2: 36 to 54 kg BW; Phase 3: 54 to 78 kg BW; and Phase 4: 78 to 109 kg BW). At the predetermined BW, pigs were slaughtered and separated into body components of hair, hooves, blood, head, viscera, and carcass. The carcass was split along the dorsal midline and the left carcass side was ground for chemical analysis. Whole empty body weight averaged 93.6% and 94.0% of live BW in Exp. 1 and Exp. 2, respectively. As WEB weight increased in both experiments, the percentage carcass of the WEB linearly (P < 0.05) increased, the percentage viscera linearly (P < 0.05) decreased, and the mass (g) of N, ash, Ca, and P in the WEB increased linearly (R2 = 0.98). The concentration (g/kg) of P in the WEB of 18 to 54 kg pigs increased from 4.30 to 4.57 (linear; P < 0.05) and for Ca increased from 5.13 to 5.66 (linear; P < 0.05). In Exp. 2, P concentration was not related to WEB weight and Ca concentration increased quadratically (P < 0.05). The relative accretion rate of N to P was 1.00 (R2 = 0.99) in the pigs from 18 to 54 kg. In conclusion, these results indicate that compositional changes as BW increases are strongly related to P retention and that the quantification of WEB P and relationships of WEB P to other chemical components in the body may be useful for modeling purposes in growing and finishing pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.


  • Body composition
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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