Evaluation of Microbially Enhanced Soybean Meal as an Alternative to Fishmeal in Weaned Pig Diets

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An experimental, microbially enhanced soybean product (MEPRO) was evaluated as a replacement for fishmeal (FM). Assessment of feedstuffs should include estimation of digestibility as well as pig performance and in combination with dietary additives. Digestibility values determined in growing pigs may not apply to nursery pigs; thus, standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) in MEPRO and FM were determined using 30±1.6 kg BW ileal-cannulated barrows (n=6) and 9.8±1.2 kg BW barrows (n=37; serial slaughter). Experimental diets included MEPRO, FM and nitrogen free where FM and MEPRO were included as the sole protein source. The SID of AAs was 3% to 5% lower in MEPRO than FM when fed to 30 kg pigs. The SID of arginine and methionine was greater (P<0.05) in MEPRO than FM when fed to 10 kg pigs. The SID of AAs was 12% to 20% lower in FM when fed to 10 v. 30 kg pigs but only 3% to 9% lower in MEPRO. A total of 336 barrows and gilts were weaned at 21 days of age (initial BW=6.1±0.8 kg) and used in a performance trial. Pens of pigs were assigned to one of the six experimental diets (8 pens/diet in two blocks). Treatment diets were fed in Phase I (7 days) and Phase II (14 days) with all pigs fed a common Phase III diet (14 days). Experimental diets included (1) negative control (NEG) containing corn, soybean meal and whey, (2) NEG+acidifier, (3) NEG+FM (POS), (4) POS+acidifier (POS A+), (5) NEG+MEPRO (MEPRO) and (6) MEPRO+acidifier. The FM and MEPRO were included at 7.5% and 5.0% in Phase I and II diets, respectively. Diets were formulated to meet the standard nutrient requirements for weaned pigs. Pig BW and feed disappearance was measured weekly and fecal scores were measured daily for the first 14 days post-weaning as an indicator of post-weaning diarrhea syndrome (PWDS). Performance (BW, daily gain, feed intake and gain : feed) was not significantly different among treatments. Treatment for PWDS occurred on different days in each block. Analysis of fecal score was completed separately by block. Pigs fed the NEG diets had higher (P=0.02) fecal scores than pigs fed the POS diets on days 2 and 3 (block 1) and higher (P<0.05) than pigs fed MEPRO or POS diets and diets with dietary acidifier on days 6 and 3 (block 2). The MEPRO holds promise as an alternative to FM in nursery pig diets.

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Cambridge University Press