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J Anim Sci. 1998 Jul;76(7):1887-95.

Dietary carbohydrates alter the fecal composition and pH and the ammonia emission from slurry of growing pigs.

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Department of Livestock Engineering, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (IMAG-DLO), Wageningen, The Netherlands. T.T.Canh@IMAG.DLO.NL


We investigated the effects of dietary carbohydrates on the composition and pH of fecal material and on the ammonia emission from the slurry of growing pigs. Thirty-four barrows (BW approximately 40 kg) were randomly allotted to 1 of 10 diets. A basal diet was formulated to meet all requirements for protein, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. The control diet was composed of the basal diet plus heat-treated cornstarch. In the other diets, the cornstarch in the control diet was replaced with three levels of either coconut expeller, soybean hulls, or dried sugar beet pulp. Feces were collected separately from urine in a balance experiment. Feces were mixed with a standardized urine (ratio of 1:2.5, wt/wt) to form a slurry. A sample of this slurry was placed in an in vitro system to determine the pH and the ammonia emission for 16 d at 20 degrees C. The fecal and slurry DM contents decreased (P < .001) and the total VFA concentrations increased (P < .001) when the level of dietary carbohydrates increased. The pH and the ammonia emission decreased as the level of carbohydrates increased (P < .001). The addition of soybean hulls to the diet had the greatest effect on reducing the pH and ammonia emission (P < .001), and the effects of sugar beet pulp and coconut expeller were approximately the same. A linear relationship was found between the intake of dietary nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) and the ammonia emission (P < .001). For each 100-g increase in the intake of dietary NSP, the slurry pH decreased by approximately .12 unit and the ammonia emission from slurry decreased by 5.4%. We conclude that replacing cornstarch in the diet with components that have a high concentration of fermentable carbohydrates increases the VFA concentration of feces and slurry and reduces the pH and ammonia emission from the slurry of growing pigs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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