An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of replacing conventional soybean meal (CSBM) with low-oligosaccharide soybean meal (LOSBM) on growth performance, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), intestinal morphology, viscosity of the intestinal contents, and visceral organ weight of weanling pigs. Thirty-two 19-d old individually housed pigs (6.2 ± 0.4 kg BW) were blocked by BW, and randomly assigned from within blocks to 1 of 4 dietary treatments: (1) CSBM with inclusion of fish meal and spray dried plasma protein (CSBM+), (2) CSBM without inclusion of fish meal and spray dried plasma protein (CSBM-), (3) LOSBM with inclusion of fish meal and spray dried plasma protein (LOSBM+), and (4) LOSBM without inclusion of fish meal and spray dried plasma protein (LOSBM-) according to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Pigs were fed the experimental diets ad libitum for 14 d. Average daily gain and ADFI were not affected (P > 0.05) by the dietary treatments. However, inclusion of fish meal and spray dried plasma protein improved (P = 0.04) the gain to feed ratio. Replacing CSBM with LOSBM reduced (P = 0.01) viscosity of the intestinal contents. Dietary treatments had no effect (P > 0.05) on the small intestinal length and weights of organs including the pancreas, liver, heart, kidney, and spleen. No differences (P > 0.05) were observed between dietary treatments in villus height, crypt depth, and the ratio of villus height to crypt depth in the ileum, and crypt depth and the ratio of villus height to crypt depth in the jejunum; however, jejunal villus height was reduced (P = 0.02) when replacing CSBM with LOSBM. Concentration of BUN was higher (P = 0.01) for pigs fed the LOSBM diets compared with pigs fed the diets containing CSBM. In conclusion, LOSBM reduced the intestinal digesta viscosity but had no effects on growth performance and intestinal morphology when fed to piglets during the first 2 wk after weaning.
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- Digesta viscosity
- Growth performance
- Intestinal morphology
- Low-oligosaccharide soybean meal