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Effects of increasing the intake of dietary β-glucans by exchanging wheat for barley on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen excretion, intestinal microflora, volatile fatty acid concentration and manure ammonia emissions in finishing pigs

  • M. B. Lynch (a1), T. Sweeney (a1), J. J. Callan (a1) and J. V. O’Doherty (a1)
Abstract

An experiment (complete randomised design) was conducted to investigate the linear and quadratic effects of barley β-glucan inclusion level on total tract nutrient apparent digestibility, nitrogen excretion, intestinal microflora, volatile fatty acid (VFA) profile and manure ammonia emissions in pigs. Twenty-four boars (66 kg) were assigned to one of four treatments: (T1) 0 g/kg barley (control diet) (5.6 g/kg β-glucan), (T2) 222 g/kg barley (12.1 g/kg β-glucan), (T3) 444 g/kg barley (18.9 g/kg β-glucan) and (T4) 666 g/kg barley (25 g/kg β-glucan). Barley was substituted for wheat in the diet. The diets were formulated to contain similar concentrations of digestible energy and digestible lysine. There was a linear decrease (P < 0.001) in the total tract apparent digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, gross energy and neutral-detergent fibre with increasing β-glucan concentration. Faecal nitrogen excretion was affected by dietary β-glucan concentration (quadratic P < 0.05). There was a linear decrease in Enterobacteria concentrations (P < 0.05) with increasing dietary β-glucan concentration. Increasing dietary barley levels caused a linear decrease in colonic (P < 0.01) and caecal pH (P < 0.001). Total caecal VFA and propionic acid were affected by dietary β-glucan concentration (quadratic, P < 0.05). There was a linear decrease in the proportion of acetic acid (P < 0.001), isobutyric acid (P < 0.01) and isovaleric acid (P < 0.05) with increasing levels of dietary barley in both the caecum and colon. There was a linear increase in the proportion of propionic acid (P < 0.001) and butyric acid (P < 0.05) with increasing barley in the colon. In conclusion, high level of dietary β-glucan (25 g/kg) is required to reduce offensive odour forming branched-chain VFAs; however, diet digestibility is compromised at such levels.

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      Effects of increasing the intake of dietary β-glucans by exchanging wheat for barley on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen excretion, intestinal microflora, volatile fatty acid concentration and manure ammonia emissions in finishing pigs
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      Effects of increasing the intake of dietary β-glucans by exchanging wheat for barley on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen excretion, intestinal microflora, volatile fatty acid concentration and manure ammonia emissions in finishing pigs
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Corresponding author
E-mail: john.vodoherty@ucd.ie
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