Effects of dietary fibre on pig excreta characteristics and odours from slurry.
Mpendulo, Conference Thando.
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A study was conducted to test the effects that different high fibre sources and their varying inclusion levels had on the characteristics of the excreta (faeces, urine and the slurry), and on odour from the slurry of growing pigs. Faeces and urine characteristics were tested from 52 pigs fed rations containing grass hay (GH), lucerne hay (LH), maize cobs (MC), maize stover (MS) and sunflower husk (SH) diets at inclusion levels up to 400 g/kg as fed basis. Faecal output, faecal consistency and nitrogen were influenced by fibre type (P <0.01) and inclusion level (P <0.01). Nitrogen content in faeces and urine was also affected by dietary fibre inclusion. Increasing fibre inclusion levelled to a reduction in urinary nitrogen content, indicating nitrogen repartitioning from urine to faeces, thereby minimizing nitrogen volatilization. The slurry from pigs fed on LH, MC and SH at levels up to 160 g/kg was tested for chemical composition and odour offensiveness. The slurry was incubated for 16 days. The pH and nitrogen content varied among fibre types and incubation period (P <0.05). Isobutyrate and butyrate concentrations varied with fibre type and the incubation period tested (P <0.01). Using panellists, the SH containing rations resulted in low odour offensiveness score. Maize cob-containing diets resulted in the largest odour scores, with (mean rank of 2.2 and 4.3 for SH and MC, respectively). To reduce odour offensiveness from piggeries, sunflower husk was recommended as an alternative feed ingredient for growing pigs.