Research Reports

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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Effects of adding HCl to collection bags or collection pitchers on amino acid digestibility in corn, soybean meal, or wheat middlings fed to growing pigs

In most AA digestibility experiments collection bags are changed at least every 30 min and the collected ileal digesta are stored at –20 °C to prevent microbial degradation of proteins. Other attempts to reduce microbial activity in digesta include adding acids to collection bags to reduce the pH in ileal digesta. Acids may also be added to collection pitchers. However, in some experiments, no attempt to reduce pH is made because it is assumed that the rapid reduction in temperature after collection is sufficient to prevent microbial degradation of proteins.

To our knowledge, there is, however, no information about the necessity of adding acids to collected digesta and it is not known if values for apparent ileal digestibility (AID), basal endogenous losses of AA, or standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of AA are influenced by addition of acids to digesta. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the null-hypothesis that values for AID, basal endogenous losses, and SID of AA are not influenced by addition of acids to ileal digesta collection bags or to collection pitchers.

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Values for digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) determined in pigs for breakfast cereals and milk are additive in combined breakfast cereal-milk meals

Breakfast cereals are usually consumed with milk as a breakfast meal. To meet requirements for amino acids (AA), higher quality proteins are needed to complement the protein in cereals to provide a meal that is adequate in all indispensable AA. The digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) method used to determine protein quality allows for calculation of the protein value of individual ingredients and mixed meals consisting of several proteins. Values for DIAAS are based on values for apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of AA that are corrected for the basal endogenous loss of each individual AA, resulting in values defined as standardized ileal digestibility (SID). Values for SID of AA are additive in mixed meals because these values are independent of basal endogenous losses. Consequently, it is expected that DIAAS obtained for individual food ingredients are additive in a mixed meal, but data to demonstrate this have not been reported. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that AA in milk complement AA in breakfast cereals to provide a balanced meal and that DIAAS in individual foods are additive in a combined meal.  

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Effects of concentration of calcium and phosphorus and 1-alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol (1-α-OH-D3) on digestibility and retention of calcium and phosphorus and concentration of digestible energy in diets fed to sows in late-gestation

Absorption of Ca and P by active transport in the small intestine is regulated by calcitriol, which is the active form of vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) and the hormones calcitonin and PTH. One-alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol (1-α-OH-D3) is an active vitamin D3 analog that does not require the second hydroxylation step for vitamin D3 to be active. It is possible that supplementation of 1-α-OH-D3 may increase absorption of Ca and P.

The requirement for Ca and P by gestating sows increases in late gestation compared with early- and mid-gestation because of increased needs by the developing fetuses. It is also possible that dietary concentrations of Ca and P affect the rate of absorption of Ca and P in sows but data to demonstrate this have not been reported. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that the Ca and P concentrations in diets fed to gestating sows in late gestation and supplementation of 1-α-OH-D3 affect apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) and retention of Ca and P as well as the ATTD of GE and concentration of DE in diets. The second hypothesis was that there is an interaction between dietary Ca and P concentrations and supplementation of 1-α-OH-D3 in diets fed to gestating sows.

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Effect of formulating diets based on a ratio between STTD Ca and STTD P and the inclusion of phytase on the calcium and phosphorus balance of growing pigs

Several experiments were conducted to estimate Ca digestibility in different feed ingredients in the presence or absence of microbial phytase to allow formulation of diets for pigs to be based on standardized total tract digestible (STTD) Ca instead of total Ca. Thus, 4 experiments aimed at determining Ca requirements expressed as a ratio between STTD Ca and STTD P in pigs from 11 to 130 kg. A follow-up study was later conducted to validate those data and to evaluate the effect of using ratios that maximize growth performance on bone development because maximum bone ash requires more Ca than maximum growth performance. However, data indicate that STTD Ca to STTD P ratios to maximize Ca retention are greater than to maximize bone ash synthesis. The use of STTD Ca to STTD P ratios in diet formulation may result in a reduction in excess dietary Ca, which is beneficial because excess dietary Ca is detrimental to P digestibility and growth performance of pigs. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that formulating diets for growing pigs based on a ratio between STTD Ca and STTD P instead of total Ca and STTD P does not decrease Ca retention, but increases P utilization.

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Pigs prefer diets containing corn to diets containing hybrid rye when given the choice, but growth performance is not reduced when hybrid rye replaces corn in diets for growing pigs

In many parts of the world, including the United States, corn is the primary energy source used in diets for pigs, but there are no published data comparing the growth performance of growing pigs fed diets in which hybrid rye replaces corn. Unfamiliarity with hybrid rye also makes some producers in the United States reluctant to try feeding hybrid rye to pigs, as there is a long-standing belief that rye is less palatable than other feed ingredients. Therefore, two experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses that there is no difference in feed preference for diets containing either hybrid rye or corn as the exclusive cereal grain source, and that hybrid rye may replace a portion of corn in diets for growing pigs without adversely affecting growth. 

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Effect of formulating diets based on a ratio between STTD Ca and STTD P and the inclusion of phytase on growth performance, bone ash, plasma Ca and P, and carcass characteristics of pigs from 11 to 130 kg

Calcium requirements by pigs are expressed as total Ca because of a lack of data for the digestibility of Ca in feed ingredients, but it is believed that a ratio between standardized total tract digestible (STTD) Ca and STTD P is a more appropriate way to express requirements for Ca by pigs. Values for Ca digestibility in different Ca-containing feed ingredients were recently generated using diets without or with microbial phytase, which allowed for the formulation of diets based on STTD Ca values. A number of experiments were also conducted to determine STTD Ca to STTD P requirements to optimize growth performance and bone mineralization of pigs from 11 to 25 kg, 25 to 50 kg, 50 to 85 kg, and 100 to 130 kg. However, these experiments were performed independently and in experiments lasting only 3 to 5 weeks. Therefore, a follow-up experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that the requirement for Ca expressed as a ratio between STTD Ca and STTD P obtained in short-term experiments may be applied to pigs fed diets without or with microbial phytase from 11 to 130 kg.

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Effect of replacing corn with bakery meal in diets for weanling pigs

Bakery meal consist of unsalable bread, breakfast cereals, cookies, pasta, and other foods that are no longer intended for human consumption. Bakery meal converts losses from the food industry into ingredients for the animal feed industry, thereby preventing food losses in the food chain. Wheat flour is the main ingredient in most bakery products, and this results in bakery meal containing high concentration of starch. Therefore, bakery meal is a potential sustainable feed ingredient that can be used in animal diets without competing with the food industry. However, research demonstrating the effect of bakery meal on growth performance for weanling pigs is limited. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that replacing corn with bakery meal will not influence growth performance of pigs.

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