Particle size

Effects of reducing the particle size of corn on growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs

Rojas, O. J. and H. H. Stein. 2014. Effects of reducing the particle size of corn on growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 92(Suppl. 2):52 (Abstr.) Link to abstract (.pdf)

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Reducing feed particle size may enhance performance

Rojas, O. J. and H. H. Stein. 2013. Reducing feed particle size may enhance performance. Page 12 in National Hog Farmer, December 15, 2013. Link to full text

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Effects of reducing the particle size of corn on the digestibility of energy and nutrients and growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs

Rojas, O. J., and H. H. Stein. 2013. Effects of reducing the particle size of corn on the digestibility of energy and nutrients and growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs. Proceedings of the 2013 Allen D. Leman Swine conference, St. Paul, Minnesota, September 14-17, 2013. Link to full text (.pdf)

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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 reducing the particle size of corn on energy, phosphorus, and amino acid by growing pigs

Rojas, O. J. and H. H. Stein. 2013. Effects of reducing the particle size of corn on energy, phosphorus, and amino acid by growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci 91(E-Suppl. 2):687 (Abstr.) Link to abstract

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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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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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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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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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Particle size reductions may help lower feed costs

By Dr. Hans H. Stein

December, 2010

It is well known that corn needs to be ground to be effectively utilized by pigs. For many years it has been common practice to recommend grinding to an average particle size between 650 and 700 microns. This particle size was based on research showing that if grain is ground to a smaller particle size, then problems with ulcers in pigs may increase.

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