Research Reports

Effects of physicochemical characteristics of feed ingredients on total tract digestibility of dry matter, energy, fiber, and protein by growing pigs

Dietary fiber is resistant to digestion in the small intestine, but is fermented in the large intestine and the resulting short chain fatty acids provide some energy to the pig. Fermentation occurs to a greater or lesser degree depending on the chemical and physical composition of the fiber; soluble fiber is generally fermented to a greater extent than insoluble fiber.

Bulk density, swelling capacity, water binding capacity, and viscosity of diets fed to pigs vary based on the types of fiber present in the diets. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the physicochemical characteristics of feed ingredients are correlated with the concentrations of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) and the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of energy, dry matter (DM), and nutrients in corn, wheat, soybean meal (SBM), canola meal, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn germ meal, copra meal, sugar beet pulp, solka floc, and pectin.

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Digestibility of energy and nutrients in wheat middlings and red dog fed to pigs

Wheat middlings and red dog are two coproducts of the wheat milling process that are used as sources of energy and protein in animal feed. Wheat middlings are granular particles of the wheat endosperm, bran and germ. Red dog consists mainly of the aleurone layer that lies between the bran and the endosperm, along with small particles of bran, germ, and flour. It is often used in extrusion mixtures and as a pellet binder. The composition of wheat middlings varies from mill to mill because of the different conditions under which they are produced.

Wheat and wheat co-products contain more non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) than other grains commonly fed to pigs. Because pigs lack the enzymes needed to digest NSPs, this may affect the digestibility of energy and nutrients. An experiment was conducted to determine the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of gross energy (GE), dry matter (DM), and organic matter (OM), and the concentration of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) in ten sources of wheat middlings as well as one source of red dog.

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Effect of adding tribasic copper chloride (TBCC) to diets for weanling pigs

Copper is an essential micronutrient for animals. It is involved in cellular respiration and connective tissue development as well as being an essential component of several enzymes. High doses of copper—about 20 times the nutritional requirement—have been shown to improve growth performance in pigs. This may be because copper has an antimicrobial effect in the intestinal tract.

When supplemental copper is added to pig diets, it is usually in the form of copper sulfate. However, another form called tribasic copper chloride (TBCC) has been shown to be equally effective and may be  more bioavailable, but it is not yet known how much TBCC should be fed to optimize performance. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the effects of adding 100 or 200 mg/kg TBCC to diets fed to weanling pigs.

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Standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids in wheat middlings and red dog fed to pigs

Wheat middlings and red dog are coproducts of the wheat milling process that are used as a source of energy and protein in animal feed. Wheat middlings are granular particles of the wheat endosperm, bran and germ. Red dog consists mainly of the aleurone layer that lies between the bran and the endosperm, along with small particles of bran, germ, and flour. It is often used in extrusion mixtures and as a pellet binder.

The digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in wheat coproducts produced in China has been reported, but there is limited information about the nutritional value of wheat middlings and red dog produced in the United States. In addition, because wheat coproducts vary in terms of the conditions under which they are produced, their nutritional value may vary as well. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine the concentration and digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in ten sources of wheat middlings and in one source of red dog.

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Amino acid digestibility in soybean meal produced in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, India, or China

Soybean meal is the premier source of high quality plant protein for pig diets. However, the nutritional value of soybean meal can vary among sources due to genetic differences in soybean varieties or differences in climate, soil type, fertilizer application, or processing conditions. It is important that these variations be documented so that producers can accurately formulate diets. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine if standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of crude protein and amino acids varied among sources of soybean meal from the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, India, or China.

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Effects of zinc oxide and microbial phytase on standardized total tract digestibility of calcium in diets fed to growing pigs

Zinc oxide, when added to weanling pig diets in pharmacological quantities of up to 2,500 mg/kg, can help prevent diarrhea during the post-weaning period. However, adding large quantities of zinc to diets has drawbacks. Zinc can interfere with calcium digestibility because it competes for the same transport pathway in cells lining the small intestine. Zinc may also reduce calcium digestibility by forming complexes with calcium and phytate.

The standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of calcium in various ingredients has only recently been determined, and possible interactions between zinc and phytase on the STTD of calcium have not yet been reported. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the effects of addition of zinc oxide and microbial phytase on STTD of calcium in diets fed to weanling pigs.

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Effects of feeding level and physiological stage on digestibility of GE and nutrients and concentration of DE and ME in full fat and defatted rice bran fed to gestating sows and growing gilts

Gestating sows have been found to have greater digestibility of energy than growing pigs. One possible explanation is that sows' larger intestinal tracts and more efficient fermentation of fiber allow them to extract more energy from their feed.

Gestating sows are usually restricted in their feed allowance while growing pigs are fed ad libitum. This confounds comparisons between sows and growing pigs because feeding level affects the rate at which feed passes through the intestinal tract and may affect the efficiency of digestion.

Therefore, an experiment was conducted to separate the effects of physiological stage from the effects of the level of feed intake on digestibility of gross energy (GE) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) in full fat rice bran (FFRB) and defatted rice bran (DFRB).

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Effects of microbial phytase on the apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium in milk co-products fed to growing pigs

Milk co-products are used in pig diets to provide lactose and, in some cases, high quality protein. In addition, milk co-products also provide calcium to the diets. However, this calcium can potentially bind to the phytate contained in the plant ingredients in the diets, which would reduce its digestibility.

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Effects of using soy protein concentrate as a protein source in diets fed to weanling pigs

Because of the presence of antinutritional factors, the use of soybean meal in weanling pig diets is limited. Animal protein sources can be used, but their cost is high relative to plant protein sources. Therefore, it is economically advantageous to find high quality plant protein sources that weanling pigs can tolerate.

Soybean meal can be processed in various ways to remove or reduce antinutritional factors. One way is to use an alcohol extraction process to remove water-soluble carbohydrates, followed by heat treatment. This process produces soy protein concentrate. An experiment was conducted to determine effects of feeding a soy protein concentrate product called X-SOY 200 on growth performance and blood parameters in weanling pigs.

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Digestibility of energy and concentrations of DE and ME in soy protein concentrate with different particle sizes fed to weanling pigs

Soy protein concentrate is produced by aqueous ethanol extraction of water-soluble carbohydrates from soybean meal, followed by heat treatment. The ethanol extraction process removes soluble carbohydrates, leaving a product that contains at least 65% crude protein (dry matter basis). Because soy protein concentrate contains reduced levels of oligosaccharides, trypsin inhibitors, and lectins compared with conventional soybean meal, it can be used in diets for weanling pigs.

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Amino acid digestibility in soy protein concentrate with different particle sizes fed to weanling pigs

Soy protein concentrate is produced by aqueous ethanol extraction of water-soluble carbohydrates from soybean meal, followed by heat treatment. The ethanol extraction process removes soluble carbohydrates, leaving a product that contains at least 65% crude protein. Because soy protein concentrate contains reduced levels of oligosaccharides, trypsin inhibitors, and lectins compared with conventional soybean meal, it can be used in diets for weanling pigs.

Reducing the particle size of soybean meal can increase amino acid digestibility due to the increased surface area for enzymes to work on. However, there are no known data on the effect of particle size on amino acid digestibility in soy protein concentrate. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in soy protein concentrate ground to three different particle sizes and to compare these values to values for soybean meal and fish meal when fed to weanling pigs.

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Effects of full fat or defatted rice bran on growth performance of weanling pigs

Rice bran is the brown outer layer of brown rice, which is removed from brown rice to produce white polished rice for human consumption. Rice bran may be full fat, containing 14 to 25% fat, or defatted, which reduces the concentration of fat to less than 5%.

Rice bran has a high concentration of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), primarily arabinoxylan and cellulose. NSPs decrease nutrient digestibility and thus limit the inclusion of rice bran in weanling pig diets. Recent data from our laboratory indicate that adding exogenous xylanase to diets containing full fat rice bran (FFRB) or defatted rice bran (DFRB) increases the concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of increased inclusion levels of FFRB or DFRB to diets without or with exogenous xylanase on growth performance.

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Requirement for digestible calcium by 25 to 50 kg pigs at different dietary concentration of phosphorus by growth performance and bone ash concentration

An excess of calcium in swine diets may increase excretion of phosphorus due to formation of Ca-P complexes. Therefore, when formulating diets for pigs, it is important to consider the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. The proper ratio should ensure that both minerals are maximally utilized in the bodies of the pigs.

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Effect of a 3 strain Bacillus-based direct-fed microbial on growth performance and intestinal concentrations of volatile fatty acids in nursery pigs fed low- or high-fiber diets

Increasing the inclusion of dietary fiber in nursery pig diets may stimulate beneficial gut microbiota and reduce post-weaning diarrhea. However, the digestibility of nutrients and energy is decreased in high fiber diets. Nursery pigs fed diets high in fiber have been shown to have reduced ADFI and G:F.

Bacillus-based direct-fed microbials (DFM) secrete a large amount and a wide variety of fiber degrading enzymes. It is thought that feeding DFM may offset some of the negative effects of  a high fiber diet. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that addition of a Bacillus-based DFM will increase fermentation of dietary fiber and improve growth performance when fed to nursery pigs.

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Effects of microbial phytase on apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium in feed ingredients of animal origin

Most swine diets must be supplemented with calcium because most plant ingredients commonly used in diets for pigs contain relatively little calcium. One way to add calcium is to include inorganic sources such as dicalcium phosphate or calcium carbonate; however, animal ingredients such as meat byproduct meals can also be used. These ingredients, often used as a protein source, are also a good source of calcium. To our knowledge, values for apparent (ATTD) and standardized (STTD) total tract digestibility of calcium in animal sources have not been reported. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the ATTD and STTD of calcium in four calcium sources of animal origin.

The secondary objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that the addition of microbial phytase to diets containing calcium sources of animal origin would increase the digestibility of calcium. Although animal sources do not contain phytate, swine diets are composed primarily of plant ingredients, and the phytate in those ingredients might form complexes with the calcium in the animal sources.

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Digestibility of energy in a novel source of soy protein concentrate and in soybean meal fed to weanling pigs

Soybean meal is the main protein source used in diets for pigs in the United States, as well as most countries of the world, due to the high quality of the protein it provides. However, soybean meal also contains antinutritional factors that limit its use in weanling pig diets. Pigs do not secrete the enzyme needed for the hydrolysis of raffinose and stachyose, α-galactosidase, in the small intestine. Therefore, these oligosaccharides are not enzymatically digested, but are instead fermented in the small and large intestines. This results in decreased growth performance and increased incidence of diarrhea when fed to weanling pigs.

Oligosaccharides can be removed from soybean meal using an alcohol extraction process, creating soy protein concentrate. Soy protein concentrate has greater digestibility of most amino acids and greater concentrations of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) than soybean meal. A new source of soy protein concentrate called Nutrivance (Midwest Ag Enterprises Inc., Marshall, MN) has recently been introduced, which is produced using a process combining non-alcohol extraction and enzymatic treatment of soybean meal. The nutritional value of soy protein concentrate produced using this method has not been determined. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the concentrations of DE and ME in soy protein concentrate and to compare these values to DE and ME in soybean meal.

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Digestibility of phosphorus in a novel source of soy protein concentrate and in soybean meal fed to weanling pigs

Soy protein concentrate is produced by extracting some of the non-protein components of soybean meal, including soluble carbohydrates, from soybean meal. These soluble carbohydrates include oligosaccharides, which reduce the tolerance of young pigs to conventional soybean meal. With the oligosaccharides removed, soy protein concentrate can be used as a source of protein in diets for weanling pigs.

Most soy protein concentrate is produced using an alcohol extraction process. However, a new source of soy protein concentrate called Nutrivance (Midwest Ag Enterprises Inc., Marshall, MN) has recently been introduced, which uses a process combining non-alcohol extraction and enzymatic treatment of soybean meal. An experiment was conducted to determine the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) and standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of phosphorus in this new ingredient.

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Digestibility of amino acids in a novel source of soy protein concentrate and in soybean meal fed to weanling pigs

Soybean meal is a high quality source of protein in diets fed to pigs. However, soybean meal contains anti-nutritional factors such as trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, which decrease nutrient availability and limit the amount of soybean meal that can be fed in weanling pig diets.

Soy protein concentrate is produced by processing soybean meal to remove some nonprotein components, including the soluble carbohydrates. This leaves soy protein concentrate with a greater concentration of crude protein and amino acids than soybean meal. The presence of oligosaccharides in soybean meal has been shown to reduce the tolerance of young pigs to conventional soybean meal, and therefore, animal proteins rather than soybean meal is often used in diets for young pigs. However, if the oligosaccharides and other antinutritional factors can be removed from soybean meal, it is possible to use soybean meal in diets for young pigs instead of animal proteins.

Typically, an alcohol extraction process has been used to remove soluble carbohydrates from soybean meal to create soy protein concentrate. However, a new source of soy protein concentrate called Nutrivance (Midwest Ag Enterprises Inc., Marshall, MN) has recently been introduced. Nutrivance is produced using a process combining non-alcohol extraction and enzymatic treatment of soybean meal. The nutritional value of soy protein concentrate produced using this method has not been determined. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the digestibility of amino acids in this new source of soy protein concentrate.

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Calcium balance at different levels of digestible calcium and digestible phosphorus in weanling pigs

Recent studies conducted in our laboratory have determined values for standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of calcium in feed ingredients fed to pigs. However, there is a lack of information about the requirement for STTD calcium in diets for pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to measure calcium balance at different levels of STTD calcium in diets fed to 11 to 25 kg pigs.

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Effect of particle size of calcium carbonate on growth performance in growing pigs

In poultry, the particle size of inorganic calcium sources has been shown to affect calcium retention and eggshell quality. However, little is known about the effect of particle size of inorganic calcium fed to pigs. Results of a previous experiment conducted in the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Lab indicated that calcium digestibility and retention were not affected by the particle size of supplemental calcium carbonate. A follow-up study was conducted to test the hypothesis that calcium carbonate particle does not affect growth performance by weanling pigs.

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