Less expensive feed is usually higher in fiber than the corn-soy diets typically used in U.S. swine production, explained Hans H. Stein, professor of animal sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
However, the white breeds that are used in commercial pork production use only about 40 percent of the insoluble fiber. "If you can increase that number to 50 or 60 or 70 percent, then of course, you would get a much better use of the energy in those ingredients," Stein explained.
"The white breeds have been selected for high efficiency and rapid gain for many, many generations," Stein continued. "But that's all based on corn-soy diets. However, there are also indigenous breeds of pigs that have not been selected for commercial production, and these breeds have, therefore, not been fed the corn-soybean meal diets for as many generations as the white breeds."
Among those indigenous breeds are Meishan pigs, which have been raised in China for many centuries. Stein's hypothesis was that these pigs, which have not been selected for efficiency and rapid weight gain, would use fiber more efficiently than the white breeds.
Stein and his team compared the fiber digestion of Meishan pigs with that of two groups of Yorkshire pigs. They tested four diets that used high-fiber ingredients: distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), soybean hulls, sugar beet pulp, and pectin. When fed DDGS, the values for apparent total tract energy digestibility were higher for the Meishan pigs (83.5%) than for either weight-matched (77.3%) or age-matched (78.8%) Yorkshire pigs. Researchers observed no significant difference in energy digestibility for the other ingredients.
"What we observed was that, particularly for the DDGS diets, the Meishans were quite a bit more effective at using that fiber," Stein said. "That diet is high in insoluble dietary fiber. When we looked at more soluble fibers, there was no difference."
Although Meishan pigs would never be used for commercial pork production in the United States, the results indicate that differences exist among breeds of pigs. Thus, it is possible that differences also exist among the white breeds and that some may use fibers more efficiently than others.
Stein stressed that this study was preliminary and said that determining if white breeds can be bred to use insoluble fiber more efficiently will be quite costly because it requires selecting pigs for multiple generations. Stein said that he and colleagues at the University of Illinois' Institute for Genomic Biology are pursuing funding for further research.
"I think it is exciting that there are some pigs that can use fiber better than we have thought in the past, and I think this will open up opportunities to think in different ways about how we can feed pigs economically," he said.
The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Animal Science and was co-authored with former graduate student Pedro Urriola.News writer: Susan Jongeneel
Susan Jongeneel | EurekAlert!
New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology
Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences