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7 Need to Know Facts about Fibre

Did you know? Did you know?22-10-2018
Afbeelding: Outdoor Sow and Piglet small

1. What is fibre?

Put simply, fibre is dietary material which is resistant to digestion, absorbs water, keeps the digestive system healthy and improves gut health. However, the wider benefits of fibre are only now being fully realised.

2. What is crude fibre?

Crude fibre is one type of dietary fibre. It does not include solubilized fibre, for example, which is included in the carbohydrate fraction in the diet.

3. What are good sources of fibre for pigs?

The following are good fibre sources for pigs: sugar beet pulp, oat hulls, soy hulls, sunflower hulls, pea hulls, lignocellulose fibre. Each of these fibres differ in the way in which they act in the body, and so it is important to choose the right type of fibre depending on the age of the pigs and the desired function.

4. How does fibre improve piglet performance?

Some insoluble fibres can increase intake and subsequent growth in piglets by up to 30g/day between 28 and 42 days. This is done by decreasing digesta retention time, which when combined with optimal grist size and raw materials, achieves both enhanced gut function and absorption of key nutrients.

5.How does fibre improve gut health in finisher pigs?

Fibre can reduce anaerobic fermentation in the small intestine and enhance fermentation in the hind gut, which releases short chain fatty acids. These act as an energy source, enhances the gut structure and has anti bacterial properties, which decreases the populations of “bad” bacteria and increases the population of “good” bacteria.  

6. How does fibre improve sow behaviour?

Fibre can make sows feel more satiated, or “content” by providing bulk to the diet. The increase in gut fill can allow higher feed intake during lactation and fewer problems with constipation during farrowing.

7. Fibre and using a transition diet

When sows are moved from straw based dry sow accommodation to a slatted farrowing house, constipation can often arise, which can increase the risk of stillborn piglets. This impact can be mitigated by using a fibre-rich transition diet.