Research Reports

Effects of different particle sizes of corn on feed efficiency in weanling pigs

Grinding of feedstuffs to small particle sizes is a low-cost way to increase their energy and nutrient digestibility. Currently, nutritionists recommend feeding corn ground to an average particle size of 650 to 700 µm. However, it may be advisable to formulate diets containing corn ground to smaller particle sizes due to the greater metabolizable energy (ME) values of these diets. A previous experiment conducted by Rojas and Stein at the University of Illinois demonstrated that when diets are formulated to contain the same amount of metabolizable energy, feeding diets containing corn ground to different sizes to weanling pigs did not have a negative effect on growth performance.

An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that when diets are not adjusted to contain equivalent amounts of metabolizable energy, weanling pigs fed diets containing corn ground to smaller particles sizes will have an improved gain to feed ratio relative to pigs fed corn containing corn ground to larger particle sizes.

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Effects of including conventional or high protein canola meals in diets for nursery pigs

Canola meal is a by-product of the canola oil industry. Conventional canola meal contains about 37% crude protein, and is a good protein source for swine diets. New varieties of canola with seeds that contain less fiber and more protein than conventional canola seeds have been hybridized. The meals produced from these new hybrids have a crude protein content similar to that of dehulled soybean meal (Table 1). No data exist on how feeding these high protein canola meals to weanling pigs affects growth performance. Inclusion levels also have not been established for the use of these products in nursery diets.

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect on growth performance of including conventional or high protein canola meals at different levels in diets fed to weanling pigs.

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Energy and phosphorus digestibility by weanling pigs of Lemna Protein Concentrate, fish meal, and soybean meal

Lemna Protein Concentrate (LPC) is derived from the leaves of duckweed, one of several rapidly-growing aquatic plants of the genus Lemna. LPC is produced by de-oiling and de-hydrating leaves and stems of the duckweed plant. Duckweed has a number of advantages as a protein source. It is relatively inexpensive to produce and requires less growing area and fewer inputs than other plant protein sources such as soybean products. In addition, LPC has a favorable amino acid profile for use in swine diets. No published data exist on the nutritional value of LPC as fed to pigs. Therefore, two experiments were conducted to determine the concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy and the digestibility of phosphorus in Lemna Protein Concentrate.

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Amino acid digestibility of heat damaged distillers dried grains with solubles fed to pigs

The production of corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) involves a drying step in which temperature may reach 500°C or greater. The application of heat and moisture to feedstuffs results in the Maillard reaction, which reduces the concentration and digestibility of amino acids. Lysine's chemical structure makes it particularly susceptible to the Maillard reaction. However, during the acid hydrolysis step of amino acid analysis, some lysine is recovered from Maillard products, but this lysine cannot be utilized by the animals, and thus, the amount of digestible lysine in a sample may be overestimated. Therefore, methods other than simple lysine analysis must be used when assessing feed that may be heat damaged.

An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of heat damage on the digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in corn DDGS fed to growing pigs. A second objective of the experiment was to develop regression equations to predict the concentration of standardized ileal digestible (SID) amino acids in DDGS.

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Effects of different corn particle sizes on growth performance for weanling pigs

The metabolizable energy content of corn ground to smaller particle sizes is greater than that of corn ground to larger particle sizes, because the reduced particle size provides more surface area for digestive enzymes to act on. This results in more starch being digested in the small intestine with a subsequent absorption of glucose.

Currently, nutritionists recommend feeding corn ground to an average particle size of 650 to 700 µm. However, it may be advisable to formulate diets containing corn ground to smaller particle sizes due to the greater ME in these diets. If diets are formulated to a constant ME, the inclusion of added fat can be reduced if corn ground to a smaller particle size is used.

In a previous experiment, growth performance did not differ among growing-finishing pigs (average initial body weight: 32 kg) fed diets containing corn ground to particle sizes ranging from 339 to 865 µm if diets were formulated to the same ME by reducing the concentration of added fat as corn particle size was reduced. The experiment discussed in this report was conducted to test the hypothesis that added fat can be reduced in diets fed to weanling pigs if corn ground to a smaller particle size is used.

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Effects of heat treatment on the composition and amino acid digestibility of canola meal fed to growing pigs

Canola meal is the second most used plant protein source, after soybean meal, in livestock diets. The production of canola meal involves a step in which the meal is treated with steam for 35 to 50 minutes at temperatures from 95 to 115°C. The application of heat and moisture to feedstuffs results in the Maillard reaction, which reduces the concentration and digestibility of amino acids. Lysine is particularly susceptible to the Maillard reaction, so it is important to determine accurate digestible lysine levels in feedstuffs that may be heat damaged. Amino acid analysis that does not account for lysine recovered from acid hydrolysis of Maillard products may overestimate the amount of digestible lysine in a sample. Therefore, methods other than simple lysine analysis must be used when assessing feed that may be heat damaged.

An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of heat damage on the digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in canola meal fed to growing pigs. Another objective of the experiment was to develop regression equations to predict the concentration of standardized ileal digestible (SID) amino acids in canola meal.

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Effect on growth performance and carcass characteristics of reducing the particle size of corn fed to growing pigs

Grinding feedstuffs increases their energy and nutrient digestibility, because the reduced particle size provides more surface area for digestive enzymes and microbes to act on. Currently, nutritionists recommend feeding corn ground to an average particle size of 650 to 700 µm. However, research has shown that corn ground to smaller particle sizes contains more metabolizable energy than corn ground to larger particle sizes, which leads to greater feed efficiency.

An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that diets containing corn ground to reduced particle size can be formulated with less fat than diets containing corn ground to a greater particle size without compromising growth performance or carcass characteristics.

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Amino acid digestibility in heat damaged sunflower meal and cottonseed meal fed to growing pigs

Sunflower meal and cottonseed meal can be used in place of soybean meal as protein sources for swine diets. The production of both involves heat treatment, to extract oil from sunflower seeds and cottonseeds and to reduce antinutritional factors. When heat is applied to feed ingredients in the presence of moisture, a series of chemical reactions known as the Maillard reaction may be initiated.  In the Maillard reaction, amino acids and reducing sugars combine to form indigestible compounds known as Amadori compounds. These amino acids are therefore not available to the pigs. Lysine is particularly susceptible to the Maillard reaction. It is important to know the extent of heat damage in feed ingredients so that diets may be formulated that supply the appropriate amounts of digestible amino acids to pigs.

Little information is available about the effects of heat processing on amino acid digestibility in sunflower meal and cottonseed meal. Furthermore, equations to predict the concentration of digestible amino acids in sunflower meal and cottonseed meal from the analyzed nutrient composition have not been reported. Two experiments were conducted to determine the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids in sunflower meal and in cottonseed meal fed to growing pigs, and to test if regression equations could be developed to predict the concentration of SID lysine in sunflower meal and cottonseed meal.

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Effects of using palm kernel expellers in phase 2 diets fed to weanling pigs

Palm kernel expellers is a coproduct of the production of palm kernel oil. Unlike palm kernel meal, which is produced after the oil is removed from the fruits of oil palms using solvent extraction, palm kernel expellers are produced via mechanical extraction. The lysine content of palm kernel expellers is low relative to soybean meal. Additionally, the high fiber content of palm kernel expellers means that it contains less digestible and metabolizable energy than soybean meal or corn. These factors limit the inclusion rate of palm kernel expellers in swine diets.  However, despite these limitations, palm kernel expellers can provide significant protein in swine diets and may be used to reduce feed costs.

An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that palm kernel expellers may replace some corn and soybean meal in phase 2 diets fed to weanling pigs without negatively affecting growth performance.

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Concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy and digestibility of energy in high protein canola meal, conventional canola meal, and soybean meal fed to growing pigs

Canola meal is the defatted meal that remains after oil has been extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant, Brassica napus.  Canola meal is high in crude protein and amino acids relative to most plant protein sources, and the amino acids in canola meal are well digested by pigs. However, it is also relatively high in fiber, which reduces energy digestibility and digestible energy concentration. New varieties of Brassica napus with a thinner seed coat have been hybridized, which contain less fiber and more protein than conventional rapeseed. The meal produced from these varieties is known as high protein canola meal. No data exist for the digestibility of energy in this source of high protein canola mealwhen fed to pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of energy and the concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy in two sources of high protein canola meal (CM-HP1 and CM-HP2) fed to growing pigs, and to compare these values with values for conventional canola meal (CM-CV) and soybean meal (SBM).

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Effect on amino acid digestibility of reducing the particle size of corn fed to growing pigs

Research has shown that grinding cereal grains in diets fed to pigs into smaller particle sizes improves growth performance. Feed ground to smaller particle sizes has more surface area on which digestive enzymes can work, so digestibility of energy and nutrients that are enzymatically digested may also be improved. Previous research at the University of Illinois indicated that particle size had no effect on the digestibility of phosphorus, but that decreasing particle size increased energy digestibility in corn in the range of 338.5 μm to 864.5 μm.

However, it is not known if reduced particle size also increases amino acid digestibility. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids in corn that was ground to different particle sizes and fed to growing pigs.

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Amino acid digestibility of alternative animal protein sources fed to weanling pigs

Animal protein sources such as fish meal and protein plasma are often used in diets fed to weanling pigs because the amino acids in these sources are highly digestible and because animal protein sources do not contain the anti-nutritional factors present in soybean meal. However, the cost of fish meal has increased in recent years and there is, therefore, a need for less expensive alternatives.

Chicken meal and and poultry by-product meal are protein ingredients that have a concentration of amino acids similar to that of fish meal. Poultry by-product meal is produced from the offal of carcasses of slaughtered poultry and includes feet, necks, undeveloped eggs, and intestines. Chicken meal is prepared from clean flesh and skin of chickens without or with bone derived from the whole carcass of poultry. The quality of chicken meal and poultry by-product meal depends on the quality of the rendered parts to produce them. Ultrapro is produced from enzymatically hydrolyzed porcine intestines, and AV-E Digest is produced by enzymatically hydrolyzing whole spent hens and extruded egg albumins. Insufficient data exist on the digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in these ingredients.  Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in chicken meal, poultry by-product meal, Ultrapro, and AV-E Digest when fed to weanling pigs and to compare these values with values obtained for soybean meal.

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Effects of using copra meal in phase 2 diets fed to weanling pigs

Copra meal is a coproduct of the production of coconut oil. Although the amino acid profile and digestibility in copra meal are less favorable than in soybean meal, it can provide significant protein and energy in swine diets and may be used to reduce feed costs.

An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that copra meal may replace some corn and soybean meal in phase 2 diets fed to weanling pigs without negatively affecting growth performance.

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Effect on phosphorous and energy digestibility of reducing the particle size of corn fed to growing pigs

Research has shown that grinding cereal grains in diets fed to pigs into smaller particle sizes improves growth performance. Feed ground to smaller particle sizes has more surface area on which digestive enzymes can work, so digestibility of energy and nutrients that are enzymatically digested may also  improved. Generating specific data on energy and nutrient digestibility will help determine the optimal particle size for feed ingredients.

An experiment was conducted to determine the concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy and to measure the apparent (ATTD) and standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of phosphorus by growing pigs fed diets containing corn that was ground to different particle sizes.

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Effects of using palm kernel meal in phase 2 diets fed to weanling pigs

Palm kernel meal is a coproduct of the production of palm kernel oil. Although the amino acid profile and digestibility in palm kernel meal are less favorable than in soybean meal, it can provide significant protein in swine diets and may be used to reduce feed costs.

An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that palm kernel meal may replace some corn and soybean meal in phase 2 diets fed to weanling pigs without negatively affecting growth performance.

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Amino acid digestibility in canola meal, 00-rapeseed meal, and 00-rapeseed expellers fed to growing pigs

Canola meal is produced from the rapeseed plant, a relative of broccoli and mustard. Rapeseed which has been hybridized to be low in both unpalatable glucosinolates and toxic erucic acid is called canola in Canada and the United States and 00-rapeseed in Europe. Oil can be removed from canola or 00-rapeseeds in two ways. Solvent extraction results in the production of canola meal or 00-rapeseed meal, while mechanical expelling results in the production of canola expellers or 00-rapeseed expellers. The meals and expellers have high concentrations of crude protein and amino acids, and can be used as protein sources in swine diets. An experiment was conductedto compare crude protein and amino digestibility between North American canola meal and European 00-rapeseed meal, and between 00-rapeseed meal and 00-rapeseed expellers.

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Concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy in chicken meal, poultry by-product meal, Ultrapro, AV-E digest, and conventional soybean meal fed to weanling pigs

Protein sources of animal origin provide highly digestible protein in diets for weanling pigs. Chicken meal consists primarily of skin, flesh, and sometimes bones from processed birds. Poultry by-product meal contains offal from processed chickens, including  feet, necks, beaks, undeveloped eggs, and intestinal contents. AV-E digest consists of enzymatically hydrolyzed spent hens and extruded egg albumin, mixed with a soybean meal carrier. Ultrapro is produced from enzymatically hydrolyzed porcine intestines, which are used in the production of the drug heparin. There is a lack of data on the concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy in all of these ingredients, which limits their use in diets fed to weanling pigs.

An experiment was conducted to determine the concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy in chicken meal, poultry by-product meal, Ultrapro, and AV-E digest, and to compare these values with soybean meal.

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Effect of fat concentration in distillers dried grains with solubles on concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy when fed to growing pigs

Distillers dried grains with solubles, or DDGS, is a co-product of the rapidly growing ethanol industry. DDGS has been increasingly used for swine diets because of its affordability and nutritive value. Corn DDGS is high in energy, amino acids, and digestible phosphorus.

In the last few years, more ethanol plants have started  to use centrifugation to extract oil from DDGS for use in the production of biodiesel. The resulting DDGS products contain less fat than conventional DDGS. Reduced-fat DDGS products would be expected to have decreased digestible (DE) and metabolizable (ME) energy concentrations compared with  conventional DDGS, but energy values for these products have not yet been reported.

An experiment was conducted to determine the concentrations of DE and ME in three sources of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) containing different fat concentrations. In addition, the effect of supplementing diets containing reduced-fat DDGS products with corn oil to increase DE and ME concentrations was determined.

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Phosphorus digestibility in corn, corn co-products, and bakery meal fed to growing pigs

With the prices of cereal grains rising, opportunities to reduce feed costs by using alternative ingredients are being explored. One source of alternative feed ingredients is co-products from the use of corn in the production of food for humans. Only limited published information is available on the digestibility of phosphorus in corn co-products derived from the human food industry.

Phosphorus from plant sources is often bound to phytate, which decreases the availability of the phosphorus to the pigs because pigs do not produce the enzyme phytase. The addition of microbial phytase to diets containing corn and soybean meal increases phosphorus digestibility in these ingredients. However, no data have been published on the effect of adding phytase to diets containing hominy feed,  bakery meal, corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, or corn germ meal.

Therefore, an experiment was performed to determine the apparent (ATTD) and standardized (STTD) total tract digestibility of phosphorus in hominy feed, bakery meal, corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, and corn germ meal, and to compare these values to the values obtained for corn and DDGS. The effect of the addition of microbial phytase to the diets on the digestibility of phosphorus in the experimental ingredients was also measured.

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Phosphorus digestibility in canola, cottonseed, and sunflower products fed to growing pigs

Soybean meal is a high quality source of protein for swine diets. Due to the growth in global production of pigs and poultry, demand for soybeans is increasing rapidly, outpacing production. Therefore, other sources of plant protein are sometimes used in diets to supply indispensable amino acids to the animals.
The most abundant oilseeds produced in the world, aside from soybeans, are cottonseed, canola seed (rapeseed), and sunflower seed. These oilseeds may be fed as de-oiled meals, or the full fat seeds can be fed to increase the energy concentration of the diet.

Oilseeds and oilseed meals also provide phosphorus to the diet. However, most of the phosphorus in these sources is bound to phytate, and is not available to pigs. An experiment was performed to determine the standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of phosphorus in canola, cottonseed, and sunflower products, and to discover how the addition of phytase influences the STTD of phosphorus. The apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of calcium and the effect of adding phytase on ATTD of calcium were also measured.

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