Effects of particle size and fibre source on digestibility in pigs

30-12-2019 | | |
Photo: Hans Prinsen
Photo: Hans Prinsen

Particle size affects the ileal digestibility of nutrients and fibre fractions in pigs, according to a study by researchers of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture’s Feed Industry Center and the Agricultural University of China.

The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of different feed particle sizes and fibre sources on nutrient digestibility and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) concentration in different intestinal segments of pigs.


In total, 18 barrows with T-cannula in the distal ileum were randomly allotted to a 3×2 factorial arrangement with 3 different high-fibre diets including corn bran (CB), sugar beet pulp (SBP) and soybean hulls (SH), and 2 different feed particle sizes. The experiment contained 2 periods, and each period lasted 15 days, including 10 days for diets adaptation, 3 days for faecal collection, and 2 days for ileal digesta collection.

Ileal digestibility affected

The results indicated that coarse diets decreased (p < 0.05) the apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of gross energy (GE), dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), total dietary fibre (TDF) and insoluble dietary fibre (IDF), but tended to increase (p >< 0.10) the hindgut disappearance of GE. Feed particle sizes did not affect the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dietary nutrients except for ether extract (EE), the aid of amino acid (AA) and scfa concentrations in ileal digesta, but fibre sources had significant effects on (p >< 0.05) the AID, attd and hindgut disappearance of most nutrients in diets and the faecal SCFA concentrations.>

Influence of fibre source

There were interactive effects (p < 0.05) between particle sizes and fibre sources on the hindgut disappearance of fibre fractions. Coarse CB diets increased (p >< 0.05) the hindgut disappearance of tdf, soluble dietary fibre (SDF), IDF, neutral detergent fibre (ANDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and cellulose, but the different particle size of SBP and SH did not affect the hindgut disappearance of TDF, ADF and cellulose.>

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Marieke Ploegmakers Editor: All About Feed