Effect of different levels of fiber and protein on growth performance and fecal characteristics in weaning pigs

  • Yun, Hyeok Min (Department of Animal Resource and Science, Dankook University) ;
  • Lei, Xin Jian (Department of Animal Resource and Science, Dankook University) ;
  • Cheong, Jin Young (Department of Animal Resource and Science, Dankook University) ;
  • Kang, Jung Sun (Genebiotech, Co. Ltd.) ;
  • Kim, In Ho (Department of Animal Resource and Science, Dankook University)
  • Received : 2017.04.16
  • Accepted : 2017.08.29
  • Published : 2017.09.30


This experiment was conducted to evaluate the growth performance, fecal score, and fecal microbial shedding in weaning pigs fed diets with different levels of fiber and protein. A total of 96 weaning piglets ($7.41{\pm}0.71kg$) were used in a 5-week trial. Pigs were allotted to dietary treatments based on initial body weight in a $2{\times}2$ factorial design with the following factors: dietary fiber (100 and 200 g/kg, respectively, during days 0 to 14; 175 and 300 g/kg, respectively, during days 14 to 35) and dietary protein (170 or 200 g/kg). There were 6 replicates with 4 pigs per pen. On day 14, pigs fed high protein or high fiber diets had heavier body weight (p < 0.05). During days 0 to 14, pigs fed high protein or high fiber diets grew faster (p < 0.05). Additionally, during days 14 to 35, an interactive effect of fiber and protein was found (p < 0.05) on average daily gain. The different levels of protein and fiber in diet did not affect the pigs' fecal scores (p > 0.05). However, feces from the high fiber group showed lower concentration of Escherichia coli (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that a high protein diet improves the growth of weaning pigs especially during the first two weeks. Moreover, the increments in fiber level, even in the high protein diet, favorably decreased the number of E. coli.


Supported by : Rural Development Administration


  1. Ball RO, Aherne FX. 1987. Infulence of dietary nutrient density, level of feed intake and weaning age on young pigs. II. Apparent nutrient digestibility and incidence and severity of diarrhea. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 67:1105-1115.
  2. Bikker P, Dirkzwager A, Fledderus J, Trevisi P, le Huerou-Luron I, Lalles JP, Awati A. 2006. The effects of dietary protein and fermentable carbohydrates levels on growth performance and intestinal characteristics in newly weaned piglets. Journal of Animal Science 84:3337-3345.
  3. De Lange CFM, Pluske J, Gong J, Nyachoti CM. 2010. Strategic use of feed ingredients and feed additives to stimulate gut health and development in young pigs. Livestock Science 134:124-134.
  4. Halas D, Hansen CF, Hampson DJ, Kim JC, Mullan BP, Wilson RH, Pluske JR. 2010. Effects of benzoic acid and inulin on ammonia-nitrogen excretion, plasma urea levels, and the pH in feces and urine of weaner pigs. Livestock Science 134:243-245.
  5. Hedemann MS, Eskildsen M, Laerke HN, Pedersen C, Lindberg JE, Laurinen P, Bach Knudsen KE. 2006. Intestinal morphology and enzymatic activity in newly weaned pigs fed contrasting fiber concentrations and fiber properties. Journal of Animal Science 84:1375-1386.
  6. Heo JM, Kim JC, Hansen CF. Mullan BP, Hampson DJ, Pluske JR. 2009. Feeding a diet with decreased protein content reduces indices of protein fermentation and the incidence of postweaning diarrhea in weaned pigs challenged with an enterotoxigenic strain of Escherichia coli. Journal of Animal Science 87:2833-2843.
  7. Hermes RG, Molist F, Ywazaki M, Nofrarias M, Gomez de Segura A, Gasa J, Perez JF. 2009. Effect of dietary level of protein and fiber on the productive performance and health status of piglets. Journal of Animal Science 87:3569-3577.
  8. Hidaka H, Eida T, Takizawa T, Tokunaga T, Tashiro Y. 1986. Effects of fructooligosaccharides on intestinal flora and human health. Bifidobacteria Microflora 5:37-50.
  9. Jang K, Kim J, Kim S, Jang Y, Lee J, Kim Y, Park J, Kim Y, Song, M. 2016. Value of spray-dried plasma as a supplement to swine diets. Korean Journal of Agricultural Science 43:14-20.
  10. Konstantinov SR, Awati A, Smidt H, Williams BA, Akkermans ADL, de Vos WM. 2004. Specific response of a novel and abundant Lactobacillus amylovorus-like phylotype to dietary prebiotics in the guts of weaning piglets. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70:3821-3830.
  11. Le Bellego L, Noblet J. 2002. Performance and utilization of dietary energy and amino acids in piglets fed low protein diets. Livestock Science 76:45-58.
  12. Madec F, Bridoux N, Bounaix S, Cariolet R, Duval-Iflah Y, Hampson DJ, Jestin A. 2000. Experimental models of porcine post-weaning colibacillosis and their relationship to post-weaning diarrhea and digestive disorders as encountered in the field. Veterinary Microbiology 71:295-310.
  13. Mateos GG, Martin F, Latorre MA, Vicente B, Lazaro R. 2006. Inclusion of oat hulls in diets for young pigs based on cooked maize or cooked rice. Animal Science Journal 82:57-63.
  14. Mohana Devi S, Balachandar V, Lee SI, Kim IH. 2014. An outline of meat consumption in the Indian population -A pilot review. Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resource 34:507-515.
  15. Molist F, Gomez de Segura A, Gasa J, Hermes RG, Manzanilla EG, Anguita M, Perez JF. 2009. Effects of the insoluble and soluble dietary fiber on the physicochemical properties of digesta and the microbial activity in early weaned piglets. Animal Feed Science and Technology 149:346-353.
  16. Montagne L, Cavaney FS, Hanpson DJ, Lalles JP, Pluske JR. 2004. Effect of diet composition on post weaning colibacillosis in piglets. Journal of Animal Science 82:2364-2374.
  17. Mun D, Lee J, Choe J, Kim B, Oh S, Song M. 2017. Value of clay as a supplement to swine diets. Korean Journal of Agricultural Science 44:181-187.
  18. Norgarrd JV, Fernandez JA. 2009. Isoleucine and valine supplementation of crude protein-reduced diets for pigs aged 5-8 weeks. Animal Feed Science and Technology 154:248-253.
  19. NRC 2012. Nutrient requirements of swine, 11th Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., USA.
  20. Nyachoti CM, Omogbenigun FO, Rademacher M, Blank G. 2006. Performance responses and indicators of gastrointestinal health in early-weaned pigs fed low-protein amino acid-supplemented diets. Journal of Animal Science 84:125-134.
  21. SAS Institute Inc. 2009. SAS/STAT 9.2 User' Guide, 2nd ed. Cary, NC.
  22. Weber TE, Kerr BJ. 2011. Metabolic effects of dietary sugar beet pulp or wheat bran in growing female pigs. Journal of Animal Science 90:523-532.
  23. Weber TE, Ziemer CJ, Kerr BJ. 2008. Effects of adding fibrous feedstuffs to the diet of young pigs on growth performance, intestinal cytokines, and circulating acute-phase proteins. Journal of Animal Science 86:871-881.
  24. Wellock IJ, Fortomaris PD, Houdijk JGM, Kyriazakis I. 2007. Effect of weaning age, protein nutrition and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli c hallenge on t he h ealth o f newly weaned piglets. Livestock Science 108:102-105.
  25. Wellock IJ, Fortomaris PD, Houdijk JGM, Wiseman J, Kyriazakis I. 2008. The consequences of non-starch polysaccharide solubility and inclusion level on the health and performance of weaned pigs challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. British Journal of Nutrition 99:520-530.
  26. Wellock IJ, Houdijk JGM, Miller AC, Gill BP, Kyriazakis I. 2009. The effect of weaner diet protein content and diet quality on the long-term performance of pigs to slaughter. Journal of Animal Science 87:1261-1269.
  27. Wilfart A, Montagne L, Simmins PH, van Milgen J, Noblet J. 2007. Sites of nutrient digestion in growing pigs: Effect of dietary fiber. Journal of Animal Science 85:976-983.
  28. Williams BA, Verstegen MWA, Tamminga S. 2001. Fermentation in the large intestine of single-stomached animals and its relationship to animal health. Nutrition Research Reviews 14:207-227.