Feed ingredients differing in fermentable fibre and indigestible protein content affect fermentation metabolites and faecal nitrogen excretion in growing pigs.Animal. 2012 Apr; 6(4):603-11.A
To study the fermentation characteristics of different non-conventional dietary fibre (DF) sources with varying levels of indigestible CP content and their effects on the production of fermentation metabolites and on faecal nitrogen (N) excretion, an experiment was conducted with 40 growing pigs (initial BW 23 kg) using wheat bran (WB), pea hulls (PH), pea inner fibres (PIF), sugar beet pulp (SBP) or corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). The diets also contained soya protein isolate, pea starch and sucrose, and were supplemented with vitamin-mineral premix. Faecal samples were collected for 3 consecutive days from day 10, fed with added indigestible marker (chromic oxide) for 3 days from day 13 and pigs were slaughtered on day 16 from the beginning of the experiment. Digesta from the ileum and colon were collected and analysed for short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and ammonia (NH3) content. The apparent total tract N digestibility was the lowest (P < 0.001) in diets based on DDGS (74%), medium in diets with WB and SBP (76% each) and highest in those with PIF and PH (79% and 81%, respectively). Expressed per kg fermented non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), faecal N excretion was higher with DDGS and WB diets (130 and 113 g/kg NSP fermented, respectively) and lower with PIF, PH and SBP diets (42, 52 and 55 g/kg NSP fermented, respectively). The PH-based diets had the highest (P < 0.05) SCFA concentrations, both in the ileum and the colon (27 and 122 mMol/kg digesta, respectively). The highest NH3 concentration was also found in the colon of pigs fed with PH (132 mMol/kg digesta). Loading plot of principle component analysis revealed that the CP : NSP ratio was positively related with faecal N excretion and NH3 concentration in colon contents, whereas negatively related with SCFA concentration in colon contents. In conclusion, pea fibres and SBP increased SCFA and reduced NH3 concentration in the pig's intestine and reduced faecal N excretion, which makes pea fibres and SBP an interesting ingredient to use in pig diet to improve the positive effect of DF fermentation on the gastrointestinal tract and reduce faecal N excretion.