Research Reports

Growth performance of weanling pigs fed diets with different inclusion levels of a cheese co-product

Whey, which is a co-product from dairy processing plants that extract fat and protein from milk to make cheese, has been used in diets fed to weanling pigs as a source of lactose. Whey powder does not contain much protein because the majority of the milk protein ends up in the cheese during processing. However, cheese co-products, which contain 40 to 50% crude protein may be used in the feeding of pigs, but there is limited information about the nutritional value of cheese co-products fed to pigs. Therefore, the objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that a cheese co-product may replace traditional protein sources in diets for weanling pigs without affecting growth performance.

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Standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids in three sources of corn protein fed to weanling pigs

Corn coproducts produced from the fuel ethanol or the wet milling industries may be used in diets fed to pigs. Newly developed corn proteins are high protein feed ingredients with approximately 40 to 50% crude protein (CP), and corn protein may be a great source of digestible amino acids (AA) in diets fed to weanling pigs. There are, however, limited data on the digestibility of AA in different sources of corn protein fed to weanling pigs. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of AA in 3 different sources of corn protein when fed to weanling pigs.

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Effect of phytase on weaning piglet performance when fed diets supplemented with pharmacological levels of Zn

Pharmacological levels of Zn (i.e., 2,000 to 3,000 mg/kg) is often included in diets for weanling pigs to prevent post-weaning diarrhea. However, pharmacological levels of Zn may reduce microbial phytase efficacy by chelating the phytate molecule, which subsequently prevents access for phytase.  However, it is possible that this effect can be reduced by adding more phytase to diets. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that inclusion of increasing levels of phytase increases pig growth performance and mineral digestibility in diets with 3,000 mg/kg of Zn.

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Relative bioavailability by nursery pigs of Zn in a new source of Zn-glycinate

Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element that is needed for growth, bone development, and immune competence. Inorganic Zn sources such as Zn oxide and Zn sulfate (ZnSO4) are most commonly used in swine diets. However, because of low bioavailability of Zn the inorganic Zn sources chelated Zn sources may be used instead because these sources have greater bioavailability of Zn. Chelated zinc may also reduce reactiveness with other components of the diet. A new chelated Zn source, zinc bis-glycinate, in which Zn is bound to two glycine molecules, was recently developed, but there is limited information about effects of this new chelated Zn source on digestibility and Zn retention in pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the relative bioavailability by weanling pigs of Zn in Zn bis-glycinate is greater than in Zn mono-glycinate and in ZnSO4.

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Analyzed values for P and phytate in feed ingredients

Phytic acid is the main storage of P in plants, and most P in plant feed ingredients is bound in the phytate complex. Because pigs do not secrete phytase, an enzyme to hydrolyze inositol bonds in phytate, the utilization of P by pigs is very low. Addition of supplemental phytase to diets thus results in release of P and increases P utilization by pigs. However, all enzymes have a special recognition mechanism called specificity that works only with molecules that fit to active sites of the enzyme. Therefore, it is important to know how much of P is phytate-bound and how much of the P in a given diet is not phytate-bound.

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Effects of reducing the concentration of Ca and P and increasing microbial phytase on gastric pH, fecal score, plasma inositol, growth performance, and bone ash of weanling pigs

The limited capacity for weanling pigs to secret HCl in the stomach may be exacerbated by inclusion of ingredients with high acid binding capacity such as limestone and monocalcium phosphate. As a consequence, reducing the amount of these 2 ingredients in diets for weanling pigs may contribute to a stable low pH for proper pepsin activity and increased action of microbial phytase. Inclusion of high doses of phytase that results in increased phytate degradation and increased release of Ca, P, and inositol may also be beneficial to newly weaned pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that lowering dietary Ca and P reduces gastric pH and diarrhea of weanling pigs, but microbial phytase may overcome negative effects of low Ca and P on growth performance and bone ash.

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Digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS) in beef or pork burgers are greater than in plant-based burgers

In the U.S. and most other developed countries, animal-based proteins provide a significant portion of the human diet. However, predictions for animal protein consumption indicates that consumption in Europe and North America will begin to decline by 2035 because plant-based proteins have become accepted as having an appearance, texture, and taste that is close to that of animal products. Examples of plant based proteins that are already on the market are plant-based burgers such as the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger, which are produced primarily from soy and pea protein, respectively. The digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) is recommended by FAO as the best method to determine protein quality in human foods. This method allows for calculation of the protein value of both individual ingredients and combined meals consisting of several proteins. Previous research in our laboratory demonstrated that values for DIAAS obtained in milk and breakfast cereals are additive in mixed meals, and the principle of additivity is believed to be applicable to all types of combined meals, but additional research to demonstrate this is needed. Therefore, the objectives of this experiment were to determine DIAAS values for animal and plant-based burgers and test the hypothesis that DIAAS calculated for a burger and a burger bun are additive in a combined meal.

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Hybrid rye may replace corn in diets for growing-finishing pigs without influencing most carcass traits, but feed intake may be reduced at high inclusion rates

Hybrid rye may replace a portion of barley or wheat in diets for growing and finishing pigs with minimal impact on growth performance or carcass characteristics, but at very high inclusion rates in finishing diets, feed intake may be reduced if hybrid rye replaces wheat. However, limited published data exist for effects of feeding hybrid rye to growing-finishing pigs in place of corn. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that average daily gain (ADG) and carcass characteristics will not differ when hybrid rye partially replaces corn in diets for growing-finishing pigs.

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Digestibility of energy and concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy in a cheese co-product, fish meal, and enzyme treated soybean meal fed to weanling pigs

Dried whey is often used as a source of lactose in diets for weanling pigs. Whey is a co-product from dairy processing plants that is generated after fat and protein in milk has been used to produce cheese. Whey powder is therefore, low in protein because the majority of the milk protein ends up in the cheese during processing. However, some of the cheese that is produced may not be suitable for human consumption, but can instead be used as a feed ingredient for pigs after being blended with other ingredients to improve flowability and handling.  One of the cheese co-products that is currently being marketed contains 40 to 50% crude protein and has a high digestibility of amino acids. There is, however, limited information about the energy value of cheese co-products fed to pigs although it is expected that because of the high concentration of fat in cheese, the energy value will also be high. Therefore, it was the objective of this experiment to test the hypothesis that digestibility of energy and concentrations of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) in a cheese co-product is greater than that in fish meal and enzyme treated soybean meal when fed to weanling pigs.

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Effect of reducing the concentration of limestone and monocalcium phosphate in diets without or with microbial phytase on gastric pH, fecal score, growth performance, and bone ash of weanling pigs

Weanling pigs have reduced secretion of HCl in the stomach needed for appropriate protein digestion. Therefore, acidifiers are sometimes used in weaning diets as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters because these products may create a favorable environment in the stomach for proper pepsin activity. However, the presence of limestone and monocalcium phosphate (MCP) in phase 1 diets, which have a high buffer capacity, may contribute to the inability for pigs to secrete enough HCl in the stomach, and lowering the inclusion level of these ingredients in starter diets may be beneficial to young pigs. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that reducing the amount of limestone and MCP in diets for weanling pigs, by lowering the concentration of dietary Ca and P and(or) by including microbial phytase in the diet, will reduce stomach pH and fecal score and therefore improve growth performance of pigs.

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Digestibility of P and concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy in high-oil corn fed to growing pigs

Conventional breeding of corn has generated a new variety (i.e., high-oil corn; Byron Seeds LLC, Rockville, IN), which is believed to contain more oil and phosphorus than conventional corn. Because of the increased oil, it is possible that high-oil corn contains more digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) than conventional hybrids, but this hypothesis has not been experimentally verified. Inclusion of microbial phytase in diets for pigs usually improves digestibility of P because phytase hydrolyzes the ester bond that binds P to the phytate molecule in corn. However, there are at this point no data for effects of adding phytase to diets containing high-oil corn and no data to demonstrate the nutritional value of high-oil corn. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of P, as well as concentrations of DE and ME in high-oil corn are greater than in conventional corn. The second hypothesis was that inclusion of microbial phytase to diets improves the STTD of P in corn sources.

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Determination of net energy in U.S. soybean meal fed to group-housed growing pigs

Soybean meal (SBM) is the major source of amino acids in diets for swine throughout the world. However, in addition to providing indispensable amino acids to diets, SBM also provides energy to the diets. Diets are often formulated based on the net energy (NE) in each individual ingredient using a linear programming computer software. Therefore, the NE for each ingredient is important for the value the ingredient is assigned in the formulation. However, the NE for SBM that is used by most feed formulators was generated many years ago, but results of recent research indicate that current U.S. SBM may provide more NE than previously estimated, which potentially results in an increased estimation of the value of SBM in diets for pigs. There is, therefore, a need for confirming or updating the NE value for SBM. As a consequence, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that the NE in U.S. SBM fed to modern genotypes of pigs is greater than the value that is currently used in feed formulation.

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Effect of sample preparation method and drying method on the concentration of energy in urine and the concentration of metabolizable energy in diets fed to pigs

To obtain accurate values for metabolizable energy (ME) in diets and ingredients, an accurate estimation of gross energy (GE) in urine is required. Urine samples are often prepared following the freeze-dried cotton-plastic bag method and GE is determined by the ignition of the sample in a bomb calorimeter. However, the concentration of GE in urine can also be determined by dripping urine on a cellulose pellet, which can then be ignited in a bomb calorimeter. Alternatively, energy in urine can be calculated from the concentration of N in urine assuming that all energy in urine originates from N. The latter 2 methods may be less expensive and less time consuming than using the freeze-dried cotton-plastic bag method. Likewise, oven drying instead of freeze drying of samples may reduce time and cost of the drying procedure. However, to our knowledge, no data comparing values for GE in urine and ME in diets among different sample preparation and drying methods are available. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that there are no differences in GE of urine or ME values of diets among sample preparation methods (freeze-dried cotton-plastic bag, undried cellulose pellet, or N value method). The second hypothesis was that drying method (freeze drying or oven drying) of cotton-plastic bag urine samples from pigs do not influence analyzed the GE in urine or calculated ME in diets.

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Digestibility of amino acids in high-oil corn product fed to growing pigs

Corn is a cereal grain that is commonly used as a feed ingredient for swine diets due to its excellent palatability, and it can easily be grown on a wide range of environmental conditions. Conventional breeding of corn has generated a new variety (i.e., high-oil corn; Byron Seeds LLC, Rockville, IN), which is believed to contain more oil and crude protein (CP) than conventional corn. It is, therefore, possible that this high-oil corn may be comparable to other cereal grains and may serve as alternative to corn for pigs. However, there are at this point no data to demonstrate the nutritional value of high-oil corn. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) in high-oil corn is greater than in conventional corn.

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Amino acid digestibility in cheese co-product, in fish meal, and in HP 300 fed to weanling pigs

Whey, which is a co-product from dairy processing plants that extract fat and protein from milk to make cheese has been used in diets fed to weanling pigs as a source of lactose. Whey powder does not contain much protein because the majority of the milk protein ends up in the cheese during processing. However, cheese co-products, which contain 40 to 50% crude protein may be used in the feeding of pigs but there is limited information about the nutritional value of cheese co-products fed to pigs. Therefore, it was the objective of this experiment to measure the apparent ileal digestibility (AID) and the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) by weanling pigs in a cheese co-product and compare values to those obtained in fish meal and in a source of enzyme treated soybean meal (HP 300).

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Digestibility of energy and concentrations of digestible and metabolizable energy in a high protein corn product fed to growing pigs

A new source of corn protein (NexPro) that is produced from the ethanol industry has been developed by Flint Hills Resources (Wichita, KS). NexPro contains approximately 50% crude protein and the digestibility of amino acids was reported in our November, 2020, Newsletter. However, there is at this time no information about the concentration of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) in this new source of protein. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that concentrations of DE and ME in corn protein are greater than in 2 sources of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS; i.e., DDGS-1 and DDGS-2) when fed to growing pigs.

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Influence of a novel consensus bacterial 6-phytase variant on mineral digestibility and bone ash in young growing pigs fed diets with different concentrations of phytate

Microbial phytase is usually included in diets for pigs to increase P absorption and utilization by hydrolyzing phytate within the gastrointestinal tract of pigs. High doses of phytase (i.e., > 1,000 FTU/kg) is also hypothesized to increase release of nutrients other than P due to increased degradation of phytate. A next generation biosynthetic bacterial 6-phytase (PhyG; DuPont Animal Nutrition) may increase digestibility of nutrients in diets for pigs; however, there are no data to demonstrate the efficacy of this phytase. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the negative impact of phytate is reduced at higher phytase doses. It was also the objective of this research to test the hypothesis that inclusion of increasing levels of phytase increases bone ash and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of minerals in diets containing varying phytate concentrations.

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Digestibility of amino acids in a high protein corn product fed to growing pigs

Corn coproducts produced from the ethanol industry are often used in diets for pigs. A new source of corn protein (NexPro; Flint Hills Resources, Wichita, KS) has been developed, but at this time there is limited information about the nutritional value of this new source of corn protein. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids  in corn protein is greater than in 2 sources of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS; i.e., DDGS-1 and DDGS-2) when fed to growing pigs.

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Conditioning and expansion increase nutritional value of soybean expellers

Soybean expellers contain trypsin inhibitors, which negatively affect nutrient digestibility, feed efficiency, and health status of animals. Therefore, heat treatment is needed to inactivate trypsin inhibitors to improve nutrient digestibility in soybean expellers. Different types and degrees of processing conditions may influence digestibility of energy and amino acids (AA) in soybean expellers, but there is a lack of data demonstrating how long heat treatment is needed if soybean expellers are expander processed after hydrothermical conditioning. Therefore, 2 experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of AA, as well as values for digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) in soybean expellers increase the longer heat is applied to the expellers.

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Standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids in six sources of partially de-hulled sunflower meal and one source of sunflower expellers from Ukraine, Hungary, Italy, and the U.S. when fed to growing pigs

Sunflower meal, which is the co-product derived from sunflower seeds after oil extraction, has a high concentration of digestible amino acids (AA) and fiber. The nutritive value and quality of sunflower meal is partially dependent on the degree of dehulling, the variety of the sunflower, and the oil extraction process. Sunflower seeds are initially de-hulled and then partially de-oiled using a mechanial prepress procedure. A second de-oiling procedure is performed using a solvent extraction procedure or by usign a second mechanical expelling procedure. The prepress-solvent extraction procedure results in production of sunflower oil and sunflower meal that contains 1 to 3% oil, whereas the double-press procedure results in production of sunflower oil and a sunflower product that contains 5 to 10% residual oil and commonly is referred to as sunflower expellers. Some of the hulls may be added back to the sunflower meal or the sunflower expellers resulting in differences in concentrations of total dietary fiber among sources.

The apparent ileal digestibility and the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of crude protein (CP) and AA in individual sources of partially de-hulled sunflower meal fed to pigs have been reported. However, there are no comparative values for the SID of AA in sunflower meal produced in different parts of the world, and it is not known if the SID of AA in sunflower meal are different from those in sunflower expellers. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to test the hypothesis that there is no difference in the SID of CP and AA in different sources of sunflower meal and sunflower expellers obtained from different countries.

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