The experiments were conducted to evaluate the apparent (AID) and standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) and SID AA composition in enzymatic feather meal (EFM), and to determine the effects of EFM as a replacement for spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) or dried porcine soluble (DPS) on the performance and intestinal health of nursery piglets. In Exp. 1, six barrows (initial body weight: 38.5. ±. 3.0. kg) fitted with ileal T-cannulas were fed 2 diets in a 2-period crossover design to determine AID and SID of AA in EFM. The AID or SID of each indispensable AA was greater than 0.70 or 0.76, respectively. The concentrations of total SID indispensable AA were 310. g/kg, and the concentrations of SID methionine (6.0. g/kg) and tryptophan (6.3. g/kg) were lowest in EFM. In Exp. 2, 120 healthy piglets with an average body weight of 11.2. ±. 2.6. kg were assigned into 4 treatments with 5 replicate pens per treatment (3 barrows and 3 gilts per pen) according to sex and weight in a randomized complete block design. Basal animal protein sources of treatments contained 30.0. g/kg of fish meal and 40.0. g/kg of whey powder (Control). The 3 other diets included 15.0. g/kg of SDPP (SDPPD), 20.0. g/kg of DPS (DPSD), or 15.0. g/kg of EFM (EFMD), respectively. The experiment lasted for 4 wk. Piglets fed EFMD improved average daily gain by 0.15 or 0.13 compared with Control or DPSD (P<. 0.05), and tended to increase feed conversion efficiency (P=. 0.08). No statistical differences were detected between EFMD and SDPPD in growing performance. The fecal score in Control tended to be higher than the other 3 groups in the first 2 wk (P=. 0.09). The EFMD improved immune globulin G content (P<. 0.05) in serum in comparison with Control. The ratio of villus height to crypt depth in duodenum was increased (P<. 0.05), and villus height in duodenum (P=. 0.06), jejunum (P=. 0.08) and ileum (P=. 0.09) tended to increase for piglets fed EFMD. Total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration tended to be higher in the cecum (P=. 0.09) and colon (P=. 0.08) of pigs fed EFMD in comparison with the other treatments. Accordingly, enzymatic feather meal could be an alternative animal protein source in diets for nursery piglets in terms of positive growth performance and intestinal health.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31372316). The authors express their appreciation to China Agriculture University Animal Experiment Base (Fengning, China) for use of animals and assistance with animal care and feeding throughout the study and the staff of Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre (Beijing, China) for sample analyses. We also acknowledge Qinhuangdao YiEr Bio-Tech CO., Ltd. (Qinhuangdao, China) for providing the new product-enzymatic feather meal.
- Enzymatic feather meal
- Growth performance
- Ileal digestibility
- Intestinal health
- Nursery piglet