Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Animal Science

First Advisor

Crystal Levesque


Various technologies and alternative ingredients are being developed to increase the nutrient value of fibrous feedstuffs, improve animal performance, and promote sustainable swine production. Fiber-degrading enzymes have been extensively studied in growing pigs, with few studies focused on gestating sows. When considering gestating sows have greater energy digestibility of fibrous feedstuffs than grower pigs, the efficacy of fiber-degrading enzymes needs to be determined for implementation in commercial sow diets. As fiber inclusion in gestation diets benefits sow performance, corn dried distiller grains with solubles (DDGS) are a candidate fiber source for gestation alternative energy ingredient. Functional fibers, such as yeast carbohydrates (YC), also have the potential to benefit both the performance of the sow and her nursing offspring. Thus, the values of these fibrous technologies were evaluated in relation to improving sow feeding strategies. A multienzyme blend at 0.1% inclusion in complete gestation diets increased total tract digestibility of nutrients and energy for gestating sows by 3 to 10%, depending on the dietary neutral detergent fiber level, but produced no effects on the ileal digestibility of amino acids. Enzyme supplementation did increase the energy content of individual feedstuffs; a greater impact was observed in protein concentrates compared to cereal grains. The energy content of a post-protein separation DDGS was approximately 28% greater compared to other common fiber sources. Lower gas production and equal concentrations of volatile fatty acids give value to post-protein separation DDGS as an alternative fibrous ingredient in gestation diets while being environmentally sustainable. An optimal inclusion level of YC product for sow diets was determined to be 0.2% of dietary intake. This recommendation is based on the observations that sows supplemented with YC at 0.2% had greater colostral immunocrit ratio, weaned more of their light-born offspring, and offspring birthed and suckled from the sows supplemented with the 0.2% YC inclusion level had greater serum concentrations of IgA at the time of weaning. Overall, these various fibrous technologies can benefit sow feeding by increasing dietary energy, promoting sustainable swine production, and improving performance of suckling offspring.


South Dakota State University



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In Copyright