Fibre inclusion and water quality interaction on performance and water consumption in growing pigs.
The study was conducted to assess the interaction between fibre inclusion and water source on water consumption, growth performance and nitrogen (N) balance of growing pigs during early post weaning phase. In Experiment 1, sunflower husks were used to dilute a basal diet at to obtain two fibre inclusion levels, low (0 g/kg) and high (160 g/kg), the two water sources used were reservoir water (R) and dairy effluent (D). The four treatment combinations (LR, LD, HR and HD) were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Twelve pigs (11.83 ± 1.33 kg body weight (BW) were allocated to each of the four treatments for four weeks. Water source did not affect scaled feed intake (SFI), average daily gain (ADG) and increased gain to feed ratio (GF). Fibre inclusion, however, significantly reduced ADG and increased GF ratio. There was an interaction between fibre inclusion and water source on scaled feed intake (SFI). Pigs on the high fibre diet consumed 3.4 g/day more feed when given reservoir water compared to the pigs that were supplied with the dairy effluent. There were no differences in SFI of the pigs on the low fibre diet regardless of the water type. For the nitrogen balance trial, 12 pigs for each treatment, with an average body weight of 27 ± 3.2 kg, were used. There was an interaction between fibre inclusion and water source on N digestibility and retention. Nitrogen digestibility reduced (P < 0.05) by 4.6 % for pigs on the low fibre diets. The N digestibility HD treatment was significantly increased by 4.3 % compared to those on the HR treatment. Similarly, while there was no difference between LD and LR on N retention, pigs on the LD treatment had a 2.2 % increase in N retention compared to LR pigs. It can be concluded that using dairy effluent as a source of drinking water for growing pigs on high fibre diets significantly reduces growth and feed efficiency. Dairy effluent improves N retention when pigs are fed on high fibre diets.