Stein Nutrition Newsletter, November/December 2010

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Editor's Note

The current issue of the newsletter contains the following:

  • A current comment on lowering feed costs by feeding corn with a smaller particle size.
  • A research report on phosphorus digestibility in blood meal fed to weanling pigs.
  • Two new podcasts on phosphorus digestibility.
  • Five new publications from the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory.

I hope you will find this information useful. To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit


Hans H Stein

Current Comment

Particle size reductions may help lower feed costs

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.

There is, however, also research showing that energy and nutrient digestibility will increase if particle size is reduced below 650 microns. Because of this increase in nutrient and energy digestibility, less feed is needed to produce one pound of gain if grain particle size is reduced. Newer research has indicated that feed conversion may be improved by 3 to 5% if corn particle size is reduced from 650 to 450 microns. There is, therefore, substantial savings associated with reducing grain particle size and many producers are now grinding to an average particle size of 450 to 500 microns.

(Read more ...)

Research Report

Standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus in blood products fed to weanling pigs

Blood meal and spray dried plasma protein are often included in diets fed to weanling pigs, and blood products are considered excellent sources of protein. The objective of this research was to measure apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) and standardized total tract digestibililty (STTD) of phosphorus in spray dried animal plasma, porcine blood meal, and avian blood meal fed to weanling pigs. References such as the NRC typically provide relative bioavailability values for phosphorus rather than digestibility values. Relative bioavailability values, however, depend on the standard (e.g., monosodium phosphate or dicalcium phosphate) to which the availability is compared. Thus, these values are believed not to be additive in mixed diets. It is believed that STTD values are additive in mixed diets, and therefore will enable producers to formulate diets that accurately meet the phosphorus requirement of pigs without creating unneccesary excesses that are excreted in the manure.

(Read more ...)

New podcasts

October 7: Phosphorus digestibility in blood meal fed to pigs

Ph. D. student Ferdinando Almeida presents the results of an experiment to measure the digestibility of phosphorus in blood meal and spray-dried plasma.

November 24: Standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus by pigs

Dr. Hans H. Stein explains the different ways of calculating phosphorus digestibility and discusses the advantages of using standardized total tract digestibility values. Dr. Stein also presents findings on the use of microbial phytase in swine diets to increase phosphorus digestibility, eliminate the need for supplementation with dicalcium phosphate, and decrease excess phosphorus excretion.


Kil, D. Y., and H. H. Stein. 2010. Invited Review. Management and feeding strategies to ameliorate the impact of removing antibiotic growth promoters from diets fed to weanling pigs. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 90:447-460.

Baker, K. M., B. G. Kim., and H. H. Stein. 2010. Amino acid digestibility in conventional, high protein, or low oligosaccharide varieties of full-fat soybeans and in soybean meal by weanling pigs. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 162:66-73.

Stein, H. H. 2010. Nutrient and energy utilization by swine. Pages 31-42 in Proc. 26th annual North Carolina Swine Nutrition conference, Nov. 10, 2010. Raleigh, NC.

Rojas, O. J. and H. H. Stein. Fermented soybean meal substitutes for fish meal. National Hog Farmer, December issue.

Goebel, K. P. and H. H. Stein. 2011. Ileal digestibility of amino acids in conventional and low-Kunitz soybean products fed to weanling pigs. Asian-Austr. J. Anim. Sci. 24:88-95.