Growth, nutrient utilization and intestinal morphology of pigs fed high-fiber diets.

R. J. Moore, E. T. Kornegay, R. L. Grayson, M. D. Lindemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Two trials (24 and 48 pigs; 9.7 kg initial body weight) were conducted to determine the effects of dietary fiber on growth, nutrient utilization and intestinal morphology of young pigs. The four diets fed were: basal corn-soybean meal (B), 15% oat hulls (OH), 15% soybean hulls (SH), and 20% alfalfa meal (AM). Fiber source did not have major effects on performance in a 35-d feeding trial. Balance trials (7-d duration) were conducted 32 d (Trial 1) or 6 d (Trial 2) after completion of the feeding trials. Feed intakes were equalized at 8.7% (Trial 1) or 10.3% (Trial 2) of initial body weight (kg.75). All fiber sources decreased apparent digestibilities of N, energy and dry matter (P less than .05) with no effect on N retention. Apparent digestibilities of neutral and acid detergent fiber, cellulose, and hemicellulose were reduced by OH and AM (P less than .01), but not by SH. Fiber sources did not affect apparent Ca, P, Zn or Mn absorption or retention, or Mg absorption, but decrease Mg retention (P less than .05). Apparent Na absorption was decreased by OH and increased by AM (P less than .05) but was unaffected by SH. All fiber sources increased K intake, but only SH and AM increased apparent K absorption (P less than .05). Fiber sources did not affect Na or K retention. The OH increased Cu intake and balance (P less than .05). All fiber sources increased Fe intake, but only SH and AM increased (P less than .05) Fe balance. Villus shape and surface morphology in jejunum and ileum examined by scanning electron microscopy (Trial 1 only) appeared to be independent of diet. However, jejunum villus morphologies of two pigs fed AM were characterized by loss of epithelial cells and microvilli at the villus apex, and ileum villi were blunted and frequently folded in one pig fed SH. Fiber sources at the levels included in a corn-soybean meal diet fed in this study had only a minimal impact on performance and utilization of minerals and N and intestinal structure, although apparent energy utilization was decreased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1570-1579
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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