Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Effect of barley pretreatment on feeding behavior, rate and efficiency of gains for swine Public Deposited

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  • A series of four animal experiments utilizing 129 pigs and associated laboratory studies was conducted to study the causes of the lowered performance on high barley rations fed to swine. Previous work at this Station has shown barley to have a value of 80-85 percent of corn for swine, and demonstrated that barley hull is responsible for the major part of the growth depression when it is present in swine rations. Numerous trials have been conducted at this Station to overcome the limitation imposed by hull material in high barley swine rations. Outside of pearling, which was completely successful in overcoming the depressive effect of barley; soaking, enzyme treatment, pelleting, and the addition of fat have been used with varying degrees of success. Pelleting has been the most successful of the latter four treatments, yet its beneficial effect is lost upon regrinding of the pellets. Recent work has indicated that soaking high barley swine feeds may be beneficial. The recent finding that antibiotics interfere with nutritional improvement of barley for poultry during water treatment suggested that a part of the benefit of soaking had been lost due to the presence of antibiotics in the swine rations. Addition of enzymes specific for cellulose, the major structural component of barley hull, has not been demonstrated to be of any advantage, yet conditions have not been optimum in terms of the enzyme's potential activity. These findings were considered in the objectives and design of the experiments described herein. Ground and whole barley were soaked for 24 hours at 30 C. before being mixed with the protein supplement just prior to feeding. Pigs receiving ground, soaked barley grew 4.2 percent faster on 3.2 percent less feed compared to the same ration fed dry but these differences were not significant. Pigs receiving soaked whole barley grew 12.2 percent slower and required 17.0 percent more feed than those which received the ground soaked barley ration. These differences were significant (P< .01). Pigs receiving whole barley soaked with constant aeration and with added cellulase 4000 enzyme did not differ significantly in growth rate nor feed efficiency from a lot which received whole, soaked barley. There was a six percent reduction in the cellulose content of barley treated with the enzyme preparation. The addition of five percent fat to a high barley ration improved feed efficiency but not rate of gain. The production of a pellet containing five percent added fat with the same density as the pelleted control ration, through use of a specially-constructed die, resulted in increases in both rate and efficiency of gain. Fatness as measured by back fat thickness was significantly increased by the fat-containing pellet. Feed waste and its causes were studied. Waste varied from 3 to 25 percent with group-fed pigs depending upon the form of the ration and the type of feeder used. Individually-fed pigs wasted from 7 to 36 percent of the feed when fed alike indicating that waste varies greatly from one pig to another. Pelleting of a meal ration reduced the amount of feed wasted from an average of 12.18 to 3.08 percent. Pigs consume more pellets than meal of similar composition even though the apparent disappearance from the feeder of the two forms is similar. Electronic measurement of feeding time showed that pigs spent 16.74 percent of the day consuming meal and only 7.34 percent of the day eating pellets of the same composition. A photographic study and close observation showed that pigs fed meal spend considerable time sorting out barley hull. Chemical analysis of the material wasted out of the feeders had a fiber content 2.5 times as high as the original ration. The studies reconfirm the conclusion that hull is primarily responsible for the lowered performance of barley rations. Barley hull splinters which result from grinding the grain apparently reduce the amount of feed the animal will consume while increasing feeding time and feed waste. Pelleting enables the animal to consume more of the ration in less time with less waste. The limitation imposed by barley hull upon swine performance appears to be associated with the prehension of feed rather than exclusively with mechanical interference in digestion and absorption of nutrients as previously believed.
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