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Pelleting of diet ingredients: effect of feed presentation on performance, diet selection and feed intake behaviour in piglets

Poel, A.F.B., Thomas, M., Richard, R., Bosch, M.W., Schouten, W.G.P.
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 1997 v.77 no.1-5 pp. 153-160
energy content, experimental design, experimental diets, feed conversion, feed intake, feeds, flavor, gilts, ingredients, mixing, nutrient content, pellets, piglets, weight gain
SUMMARY: The pre-manufacture of separate diet ingredients into pellets and subsequent mixing the different pellets to a complete feed was examined as an alternative method to the routine manufacturing procedures. The main objective of the study was to compare the performance of piglets following ad libitum offering of diets composed of three different pellets. In a growth trial, feed intake and weight gain were studied using six dietary treatments in a 3 × 2 split-plot design. Three diets were tested, a control and two experimental diets in the presence or absence of a feed flavour. The diets were of similar ingredient and nutrient composition but the experimental diets were composed of three separate pellets that were either equal or differing in their net energy content. Sixty cross-bred piglets [initial liveweight 30.4 (s.e. 0.54 kg)] were individually housed and fed the feeds ad libitum in the dry form once a day and in only one feed trough. No significant effects of the dietary treatments on daily gain, feed intake and feed conversion efficiency were observed and no interaction between diet and feed flavour was found. From the design of the experiment it was not definitely clear that single-fed piglets selected between the different pellets as measured by the difference between the offered and consumed quantity of pellets. Feed intake behaviour, as measured by the cumulative scores of 10 piglets during 20 days, did not differ between dietary treatments or flavour. Diet selection and feed intake behaviour can only be indicative since the trial design was inherent to the main objective of study, which was the performance response. .