A total of 240 piglets 21 days old were weaned and grouped in replicates of 5 animals. The replicas were allotted into 8 experimental dietary treatments, obtained by combining the two cereals (500 g/kg, rice or maize), the two processing methods (raw cereals or cooked cereal), and the inclusion of oat hulls (OH; 0 g/kg or 20 g/kg). Diets were fed to the animals for 28 days and then and during the last week the piglets received a common starter diet. Controls included the productive performance of the piglets on days 35, 49 and 56 of age, and digestibility of the dietary fractions on days 33, 43 and 49 of age.
Results on the total tract apparent digestibility showed no evolution in the three periods studied; therefore the authors show the results as pooled data. The inclusion of rice in the diets, and heat processing of the cereals provoked and improvement on the digestibility when compared to the maize based diet, and raw cereal based diet, respectively. An interaction between HP and the type of cereal was found in the organic matter digestibility; the HP was more effective in maize than when applied to rice. In the case of the inclusion of 2% OH to the diets provoked a detrimental effect on the digestibility of the organic matter, and an improvement in the digestibility of the ether extract fraction. Regarding the performance of the piglets, piglets receiving rice showed a higher feed intake when fed the experimental diets, compared to maize fed piglets, resulting in a higher average daily gain. These differences where found also when the common diet was fed to the animals coming from the different experimental treatments.
Therefore, type of cereal included in the diet may extensively determine the transition of the piglets from milk to a solid diet, and thus, the performance results obtained.
Mateos, G.G., López, E., Latorre, M.A., Vicente, B., Lázaro, R.P. (2007) Animal Feed Science and Technology, 135; 100-112