Effects of lowering dietary fiber before marketing on finishing pig growth performance, carcass characteristics, carcass fat quality, and intestinal weights.J Anim Sci. 2014 Jan; 92(1):119-28.JA
A total of 264 pigs (initially 41.0 kg BW) were used in a 90-d study to determine the effects of lowering dietary fiber before market on pigs fed high dietary fiber [provided by wheat middlings (midds) and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)] on growth performance, carcass characteristics, carcass fat quality, and intestinal weights of growing-finishing pigs. Pens of pigs were randomly allotted by initial BW and sex to 1 of 6 treatments with 6 replications per treatment and 7 or 8 pigs per pen. A positive control (corn-soybean meal-based) diet containing no DDGS or midds (9.3% NDF) and a negative control diet with 30% DDGS and 19% midds (19% NDF) were fed throughout the entire trial (d 0 to 90). The other 4 treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial with the main effects of length of fiber reduction (23 or 47 d before marketing) and fiber level fed during the reduction period (low or medium). Pigs on these treatments were fed the negative control before the reduction treatment. The medium-fiber diet contained 15% DDGS and 9.5% midds (14.2% NDF) with the low-fiber diet was the positive control diet. Increasing the feeding duration of the low-fiber diets lowered overall ADFI (linear, P = 0.03) and improved G:F (linear, P < 0.01). Lowering the fiber level for the last 23 d did not influence growth performance; however, lowering the fiber level improved carcass yield (P = 0.002), with a greater response (P < 0.001) when the low-fiber diet was fed for 23 d. Jowl fat iodine value (IV) decreased when the longer lower fiber diets were fed (linear, P < 0.01) and was lower (P < 0.001) for pigs fed the low-fiber diet during the fiber reduction period than pigs fed the medium-fiber diet during the same time period; however, increasing the time lower fiber diets were fed from 23 to 47 d further reduced (P < 0.01) jowl IV. Increasing the duration that the control diet was fed by increasing the reduction time from 23 to 47 d increased (P < 0.01) backfat depth. Reducing the fiber level decreased full large intestine weight (linear, P = 0.005) with a greater response (P = 0.04) when the low-fiber diet was fed during the reduction period instead of the medium-fiber diet. In summary, lowering the fiber level before marketing can improve G:F, carcass yield, carcass IV, and reduce large intestine weight; however, the optimal duration of the fiber reduction period depends on the targeted response criteria.