In the hypothetical state whereby a 'growing' pig is neither gaining nor losing net body protein, metabolic processes occur leading to the loss of proteinaceous material from the body. This gives rise to the 'maintenance' amino acid requirement.

The maintenance requirement for dietary amino acids reflects the continuous loss of amino acids via the skin and hair, a loss of amino acid nitrogen in the urine due to inefficiencies in the turnover of body protein, basal gut endogenous amino acid losses, the use of amino acids by cells to synthesize essential non-amino acid and non-protein nitrogenous metabolites or the irreversible alteration of an amino acid (e.g. lysine to hydroxylysine), and the loss of free amino acids in the urine. The latter two processes are quantitatively minor and are usually ignored for modelling purposes. The other three processes are reasonably well understood and can be described quantitatively. Moughan (1999) has calculated values for the dietary maintenance protein requirement (PM) for the growing pig of: PM1 = 105 mg kg-0-75 day-1 (integumental losses); PM2 = 361 mg kg 0 75 day 1 (inefficiency in protein turnover); PM3 = 637 mg kg 0 75 day-1 (basal gut losses) and PM = 1731 mg kg-o.75 (jay-i it iS evident that for a rapidly growing animal, the maintenance amino acid requirement is only a small proportion (<10%) of the total daily amino acid requirement.

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