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Effects of alginate and resistant starch on feeding patterns, behaviour and performance in ad libitum-fed growing pigs

  • C. Souza da Silva (a1) (a2), G. Bosch (a2), J. E. Bolhuis (a1), L. J. N. Stappers (a1), H. M. J. van Hees (a3), W. J. J. Gerrits (a2) and B. Kemp (a1)...
Abstract

This study assessed the long-term effects of feeding diets containing either a gelling fibre (alginate (ALG)), or a fermentable fibre (resistant starch (RS)), or both, on feeding patterns, behaviour and growth performance of growing pigs fed ad libitum for 12 weeks. The experiment was set up as a 2×2 factorial arrangement: inclusion of ALG (yes or no) and inclusion of RS (yes or no) in the control diet, resulting in four dietary treatments, that is, ALG−RS− (control), ALG+RS−, ALG−RS+, and ALG+RS+. Both ALG and RS were exchanged for pregelatinized potato starch. A total of 240 pigs in 40 pens were used. From all visits to an electronic feeding station, feed intake and detailed feeding patterns were calculated. Apparent total tract digestibility of energy, dry matter (DM), and CP was determined in week 6. Pigs’ postures and behaviours were scored from live observations in weeks 7 and 12. Dietary treatments did not affect final BW and average daily gain (ADG). ALG reduced energy and DM digestibility (P<0.01). Moreover, ALG increased average daily DM intake, and reduced backfat thickness and carcass gain : digestible energy (DE) intake (P<0.05). RS increased feed intake per meal, meal duration (P<0.05) and inter-meal intervals (P=0.05), and reduced the number of meals per day (P<0.01), but did not affect daily DM intake. Moreover, RS reduced energy, DM and CP digestibility (P<0.01). Average daily DE intake was reduced (P<0.05), and gain : DE intake tended to be increased (P=0.07), whereas carcass gain : DE intake was not affected by RS. In week 12, ALG+RS− increased standing and walking, aggressive, feeder-directed, and drinking behaviours compared with ALG+RS+ (ALG×RS interaction, P<0.05), with ALG−RS− and ALG−RS+ in between. No other ALG×RS interactions were found. In conclusion, pigs fed ALG compensated for the reduced dietary DE content by increasing their feed intake, achieving similar DE intake and ADG as control pigs. Backfat thickness and carcass efficiency were reduced in pigs fed ALG, which also showed increased physical activity. Pigs fed RS changed feeding patterns, but did not increase their feed intake. Despite a lower DE intake, pigs fed RS achieved similar ADG as control pigs by increasing efficiency in DE use. This indicates that the energy utilization of RS in pigs with ad libitum access to feed is close to that of enzymatically digestible starch.

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Corresponding author
E-mail: carol.souza@live.nl
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