Effect of dietary non-starch polysaccharide solubility and inclusion level on gut health and the risk of post weaning enteric disorders in newly weaned piglets
The objective of this experiment was to investigate the effect of non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) solubility and inclusion rate on gut health and development, performance and risk of post weaning enteric disorders (PWED) using NSP sources known not to affect digesta viscosity. The experiment consisted of a 2 x 3 factorial combination of NSP type (sNSP vs insoluble NSP (iNSP); inulin vs purified cellulose) and inclusion level (50 vs 100 vs 150 g/kg). Piglets were weaned at 28 days (day 0) and fed ad libitum until slaughter on day 14. There were no incidences of PWED. NSP solubility had little effect on performance, but sNSP diets resulted in lower caecal and colonic pH and higher colonic Lactobacilli to coliform ratio compared to iNSP diets. Increasing NSP levels significantly reduced caecal and colonic pH but decreased empty body weight percentage (P=0.067). These results suggest that gut health may benefit most from diets containing appropriate sources of predominantly sNSP rather than iNSP. The optimal level of such sNSP will likely depend upon the level of risk of PWED in order to balance the trade off between maximising performance and improving gut health. Effects of NSP feeding under a higher infectious pressure remains to be assessed. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.