Effect of soluble and insoluble fiber on energy digestibility, nitrogen retention, and fiber digestibility of diets fed to gestating sows

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Twenty-four sows (12 nulliparous, 12 multiparous) were used to determine soluble fiber (SF) and insoluble fiber (ISF) effects on energy digestibility, N balance, and SF and ISF digestibility. Experimental diets included a corn-soybean meal control (C; 1.20% SF, 9.78% ISF), a 34% oat bran diet high in SF (HS; 3.02% SF, 10.11% ISF), a 12% wheat straw diet high in ISF (HIS; 1.11% SF, 17.86% ISF), and a 16% sugar beet pulp diet (HS + HIS; 2.32% SF, 16.08% ISF). Sows were assigned randomly to diets within parity group and individually fed to meet their energy requirements according to the NRC model assuming 10 pigs per litter and 40 kg of gestation gain. Total feces and urine were collected in 5-d periods at wk 5, 10, and 14 of gestation. There were no interactions between dietary treatments and parity group for any of the response criteria evaluated. Dietary energy digestibility was greatest (P < 0.01) for females fed C (87.9%) and HS (89.3%) diets compared with females fed diets high in ISF (HIS, 82.9; HS + HIS, 86.8%). Energy digestibility was not affected by stage of gestation. Dietary N digestibility was similar between C and HS (86.1 and 86.2%) but greater (P < 0.01) than HIS and HS + HIS (82.8 and 82.8%, respectively). Nitrogen digestibility declined (P < 0.05) as gestation progressed for sows fed HS only. Nitrogen retention as a percentage of N intake was not affected by diet (C, 51.8; HS, 44.0; HIS, 42.0; HS + HIS, 48.6). Soluble fiber digestibility was different (P< 0.01) among experimental diets (C, 85.8; HS, 89.5; HIS, 77.7; HS + HIS, 80.3%). Sows fed HS + HIS (61.8%) and HS (58.4%) had greater (P < 0.05) ISP digestibility than sows fed C (53.5%), whereas sows fed HIS (38.3%) had lower (P < 0.01) ISF digestibility than sows fed the other experimental diets. Greater digestibility of dietary energy (87.1 vs. 86.2%; P < 0.05), N (85.7 vs. 83.2%; P < 0.01), and ISF (54.5 vs. 51.2%; P < 0.06) was observed in multiparous vs. nulliparous sows. In conclusion, increased intake of ISF decreased energy digestibility, whereas increasing SF intake improved energy. digestibility. Diet had no effect on N retention. Insoluble fiber digestibility improved when SF intake increased, suggesting that knowledge of specific dietary fiber components is necessary to accurately predict effects of dietary fiber on digestibility. Multiparous sows demonstrated a greater ability to digest fibrous diets than nulliparous sows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2568-2575
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Digestibility
  • Energy
  • Fiber
  • Nitrogen
  • Sow


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