Effects of Betaine on Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics in Growing Pigs

  • Yu, D.Y. (Animal Science College, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Xu, Z.R. (The Key Laboratory of Molecular Animal Nutrition Ministry of Education) ;
  • Li, W.F. (Animal Science College, Zhejiang University)
  • Received : 2004.01.26
  • Accepted : 2004.06.22
  • Published : 2004.12.01


Ninety six growing pigs ($Duroc{\times}Landrace{\times}Jia$) were used to investigate the effects of betaine on growth, nutrient utilization, carcass composition and meat quality at different levels of betaine in the diet. The pigs were randomly assigned by weight to four groups, each of which was replicated three times with eight pigs per replicate. Four groups were fed with diets supplemented with 0, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 mg/kg betaine. The pigs were grown from 20 kg live weight to approximately 64 kg. The 1,000 mg/kg and 1,500 mg/kg betaine treated groups increased average daily gain by 13.20% (p<0.01) and 9.28% (p<0.05) and average daily feed intake by 7.30% (p<0.05) and 7.33% (p<0.01) respectively and decreased feed conversion ratio by 7.93% (p<0.01) and 6.55% (p<0.05) respectively compared to the control group. However, these differences were not found in the other betaine treated groups. The 1,000 mg/kg betaine treated group significantly elevated carcass lean proportion by 7.49% (p<0.05) and longissimus muscle area by 19.12% p<0.05) and contents of ether extract and myoglobin in longissimus dorsi. by 34.21% (p<0.01) and 29.56% (p<0.01) respectively, reduced carcass fat proportion and fat depth by 27.21% (p<0.05) and 14.86% (p<0.05) respectively compared to the control group. It is concluded that betaine supplementation in the diets may improve growth performance and carcass characteristics in growing pigs.


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