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Replacing corn with brown rice on growth performance and nutrient digestibility of weaned piglets

Brown rice could be a suitable alternative to replace maize in weanling diets for piglets.

Thursday 12 September 2019 (7 days ago)

Corn is one of the most used ingredients in pig diets mainly due to its availability and good quality. However, there are alternative carbohydrate and energy sources, such as brown rice, a nonconventional energy source that has relatively high carbohydrate and protein contents comparable with those of corn grain. However, little research has been reported on using brown rice in weanling pig diets. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of replacing corn with brown rice on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and blood profiles in weaned pigs. For that purpose, a total of 144 weaned pigs (7.1 ± 0.6 kg BW) were randomly allotted to 4 dietary treatments: (i) a nursery diet based on a corn–soybean meal basal diet (CON), and 3 additional diets formulated by replacing corn with (ii) 50 (BR50), (iii) 75 (BR75), and (iv) 100% of brown rice (BR100). Pigs were fed their respective dietary treatments for 6 weeks. During the last week, pigs were fed their respective dietary treatments containing 0.3% chromic oxide as an indigestible marker. Blood was collected from one randomly selected pig in each pen on d 1, 3, 7, and 14 after weaning. Growth performance and diarrhea frequency were measured, as well as nutrient digestibility, with an index method, and blood profiles, with an automated hematology analyzer.

As a result, no differences on growth performance were observed during the overall experimental period. ADG was 448, 479, 456, and 479 g/d and ADFI was 697, 710, 718, and 704 g/d for CON, BR50, BR75, and BR100, respectively. Additionally, the frequency of diarrhea, number of white blood cells, and packed cell volume were similar between dietary treatments for the first 2 weeks after weaning. However, brown rice treatments (BR50, BR75, and BR100) increased apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter (90.26, 90.51, and 89.88 vs. 86.33%) and energy (90.40, 90.02, and 89.52 vs. 84.60%) compared with CON but they did not affect the ATTD of crude protein.

In conclusion, substitution of corn with brown rice in nursery diets had no negative effects on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, nor blood profiles of weaned pigs, suggesting that brown rice could be a good substitute for maize in the feeding of weaned piglets.

Kim, S., Jang, K., Kang, J., Mun, D., Kim, B., Kim, J., Park, S., Lee, J. J., Choe, J., Kim, Y., Song, M., & Park, J. (2017). Effects of substitution of corn with brown rice on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and blood profiles of weaned pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 95(supplement4), 50-51.

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