# Effects of Yucca Extracts and Protein Levels on Growth Performance, Nutrient Utilization and Carcass Characteristics in Finishing Pigs

• Min, T.S. (Korea Science and Engineering Foundation) ;
• Kim, J.D. (Institute of Animal Science & Technology, Seoul National University) ;
• Lee, J.H. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
• Hyun, Y. (Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois) ;
• Sohn, K.S. (Agribrands Purina Korea Inc.) ;
• Han, In K. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University)
A total of 120 pigs were used to investigate the effects of yucca extracts on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, nutrient excretion and carcass characteristics of finishing pigs fed different levels of dietary protein. Pigs were allotted into $2{\times}3$ factorial design by the supplementation of yucca extracts (YE, 0 and 120 mg/kg) and 3 levels of dietary protein (14, 16, 18% for early finisher and 12, 14, 16% for late finisher for low, medium and high protein diet, respectively). During the early finishing period (51~76 kg BW), no significant difference was found in growth performance regardless of the YE supplementation or dietary protein levels. Growth performance of late finishing pigs (76~101 kg BW) was also not significantly different among treatments. However, ADG of pigs fed YE diet was significantly improved (p<0.05) regardless of the dietary protein levels. For the overall period (51~101 kg BW), although adding YE to the diet and elevating the protein level showed better ADG, there were no significant differences on growth performance among treatments. Early finishers showed significantly higher crude protein, crude ash and crude fat digestibilities when they were fed diets supplemented with YE. Digestibilities of amino acids were not affected by YE. Late finishers did not show any significant differences in proximate nutrient digestibilities regardless of YE supplementation or dietary protein levels. YE tended to slightly improve the CP digestibility, however no significant difference was found with increased dietary protein levels. There was no significant difference in amino acid digestibilities with YE supplementation or dietary CP levels during the late finishing period. Dry matter (DM) and nitrogen (N) excretion in feces did not show any significant difference among treatments. Early finishing pigs also did not respond to the inclusion of YE or dietary protein levels (p<0.05). Fecal N excretion of early finishing pigs seemed to be lowered in pigs fed YE. Pigs fed medium dietary protein diet tended to excrete a higher amount of N during the early finishing period, but not statistically different. A slight increase in fecal N excretion was found with the increased level of dietary protein during the late finishing period. For ammonia nitrogen excretion, although there was no significance, the NH3-N content tended to be increased by the increased dietary protein levels and with YE supplementation. The NH3-N content in manure increased by 24.5% with YE supplementation. There were no significant differences in carcass weight, backfat thickness, carcass grade and loin eye area among treatments. However, pigs fed non-YE with low protein diet showed a significantly (p<0.05) low carcass ratio among treatments and there was significant (p<0.05) difference between the YE-added treatment and non YE treatment in carcass ratio. As for the feed cost, the cost of feeding high level protein was higher than that of medium level protein by 5% and low level protein by 9% (p<0.05). Therefore, based on this study, it could be concluded that environmentally friendly agents might play a role to some extent in finishing pigs from the aspect of pollution control, and that more than 14 and 12% of dietary protein for early finishing and late finishing pigs respectively do not necessarily guarantee high growth performance.