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Animal Sciences and Industry

Animal Sciences and Industry

Kansas State University
232 Weber Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-8028

785-532-6533

Email: asi@ksu.edu

Fiber in nursery diets

Unlike energy and nutrients, there are no firm recommendations of fiber inclusion in nursery diets. Diets rich in dietary fiber generally have lower nutritive value for nursery pigs because digestive enzymes are not suited for degrading fiber. However, dietary fiber components seem to have beneficial effects on gut health and development, particularly to ameliorate post-weaning gut disorders. In general, the use of insoluble fiber (e.g. oat hulls or wheat middlings) is preferred over soluble fiber (e.g. beet pulp or citrus pulp) in the immediate post-weaning period, but the use of soluble fiber in later nursery stages might be beneficial to promote gut health and development. The key to effectively utilize dietary fiber in the nursery consists of delivering the appropriate fiber characteristics to address the main concern in the nursery.