Soybean meal particle size for pigs during the nursery phase

Tamanho da partícula do farelo de soja em suínos no período de creche

Leopoldo Malcorra de Almeida Geovani Costa Senger Kariny Fonseca da Silva Filipe Augusto Moreno Isabella de Camargo Dias Antônio João Scandolera Alex Maiorka About the authors

ABSTRACT:

This study evaluated the effect of soybean meal (SBM) particle size on nutrient digestibility and the growth performance of nursery piglets. Sixty-three piglets (BW = 6.86 kg ± 0.56; 23 d of age) were distributed in a randomized block design (by initial weight and sex) with 3 dietary treatments: diets with 1,017 µm (unground); 585 µm; and 411µm SBM, with 7 replicates of 3 piglets each. All diets were offered ad libitum in mash form, formulated differently according to three growing phases: (1) with 20% of SBM, from 23 to 32 d of age; (2) with 25% of SBM, from 32 to 44 d of age, and (3) with 30% of SBM, from 44 to 63 d of age. For the first 21 d, pigs fed diets with a medium particle size of SBM (585mm) had better average weight gain and feed/gain ratio (P<0.05). The average feed intake, average body weight gain, and feed/gain ratio from 44 to 63 d improved (P<0.05) with increasing SBM particle sizes, and the average live weight for the overall period increased with coarser SBM (P<0.05). There was a marginally improvement (P < 0.1) on digestible energy as particle size of SBM decreased; although, no differences (P > 0.05) in the coefficients of apparent digestibility of dry matter and crude protein for the assessed SBM particle sizes were observed. It was concluded that the grinding of dietary SBM is not required for piglets during the nursery phase.

Key words:
particle size; growth performance; digestibility; Glycine max; piglets

RESUMO:

O objetivo deste estudo foi avaliar o efeito do tamanho da partícula do farelo de soja (FS) sobre o desempenho e digestibilidade de leitões no período de creche. 63 leitões (6,86 kg ± 0,56; 23 dias de idade) foram distribuídos aleatoriamente em um delineamento de blocos casualizados (peso inicial e sexo) entre os tratamentos. As dietas experimentais foram produzidas a partir de diferentes tamanhos médios de partículas do FS moídos ou não: 1,017 µm (sem moer), 585 µm (moído em peneira de 10 mm), e 411µm (moído em peneira de 3 mm), totalizando três tratamentos com sete repetições de três animais cada. Todas as dietas foram fornecidas na forma farelada e ad libitum, sendo divididas em três fases: 1) com 20% de FS, dos 23 a 32 dias de idade; 2) com 25% de FS, dos 32 a 44 dias de idade; e 3) com 30% de FS, dos 44 a 62 dias de idade. Nos primeiros 21 dias de experimento, os animais consumindo a dieta com o tamanho médio (585 µm) das partículas do FS apresentaram melhores resultados para o ganho de peso médio e conversão alimentar. No período seguinte (44 a 63 d), houve (P<0.05) aumento do consumo de ração médio, do ganho do peso médio e melhor conversão alimentar dos leitões conforme o aumento do tamanho da partícula de FS incluída na ração. Consequentemente, ao final do experimento houve melhora linear do peso vivo médio dos animais com o aumento do tamanho do FS consumido. Foi observado melhora marginalmente significativa (P < 0.1) da energia digestível conforme a redução no tamanho do FS, entretanto, não houve diferença (P > 0.05) no coeficiente de digestibilidade aparente da matéria seca e da proteína bruta dos animais entre os diferentes tamanhos do FS. Em conclusão, de acordo com as condições deste estudo, não se faz necessária a moagem do farelo de soja para leitões no período de creche.

Palavras-chave:
tamanho de partícula; desempenho; digestibilidade; Glycine max; leitões

INTRODUCTION:

Soybean meal (Glycine max; SBM) is the most widely utilized source of protein in pig diets because of its high-quality protein and relatively high concentrations of highly digestible limiting amino acids (lysine, threonine and tryptophan), compared to other plant ingredients; SBM also has high energy and low fiber contents. However, to be obtained and safely used in animal feeding and nutrition, the soybeans must undergo several processes, such as the use of solvents, different thermal treatments (e.g., toasting and extrusion), or recently developed enzymatic and fermentative treatments, in order to reduce the concentrations of oligosaccharides, trypsin inhibitors, and other antinutritional factors and mitigate their effects (STEIN et al., 2013STEIN, H.H. et al. Nutrional value of soy products fed to pigs. Swine Focus #004, IIinois, 2013.).

Reducing the particle size (grinding) of the ingredients modifies their structure (ROJAS & STEIN, 2017ROJAS, O. J.; STEIN, H.H. Processing of ingredients and diets and effects on nutritional value for pigs. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, v.8, p.1-13, 2017. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40104-017-0177-1 >. Accessed: Mar. 14, 2021. doi: 10.1186/s40104-017-0177-1.
https://doi.org/10.1186/s40104-017-0177-...
), and is a commonly used option to maximize the availability of dietary nutrients, which is associated with an increase in digestibility of some dietary fractions and improves the feed efficiency in pigs (LANCHEROS et al., 2020LANCHEROS, J. P. et al. Effects of particle size reduction, pelleting, and extrusion on the nutritional value of ingredients and diets fed to pigs : A review. Animal Feed Science and Technology, v.268, p.114603, 2020. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2020.114603 >. Accessed: Mar. 15, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2020.114603.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.202...
). Feeding costs can be reduced; in addition, grinding facilitates further processing of the diets, such as the capacity/uniformity of mixing, transportation, pelleting, extrusion, and expansion (LUNDBLAD et al., 2011LUNDBLAD, K. K. et al. Effects of steam conditioning at low and high temperature, expander conditioning and extruder processing prior to pelleting on growth performance and nutrient digestibility in nursery pigs and broiler chickens. Animal Feed Science and Technology , v.169, p.208-217, 2011. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.06.008 >. Accessed: Mar. 16, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.06.008.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.201...
). Moreover, the use of diets with coarser particles (e.g., 23.8% of particles > 1000 µm or medium size > 700 µm) has been associated with improved intestinal health and broader microbial diversity in the gastrointestinal tract of pigs, providing an additional barrier against potentially harmful anaerobic bacteria (KIARIE & MILLS, 2019KIARIE, E. G.; MILLS, A. Role of feed processing on gut health and function in pigs and poultry: conundrum of optimal particle size and hydrothermal regimens. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, v.6, p.1-13, 2019. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00019 >. Accessed: Apr. 01, 2021. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00019.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00019...
).

The piglets’ growth performance and nutrient digestibility during the nursery phase can be influenced by both the choice of ingredients used to reduce dietary particle size and the age of the animals (HEALY et al., 1994HEALY, B. J. et al. Optimum particle size of corn and hard and soft sorghum for nursery pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.72, p.2227-2236, 1994. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x >. Accessed: Mar. 15, 2021. doi: 10.2527/1994.7292227x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x...
; ALBAR et al., 2000ALBAR, J. et al. Incidence de la granulométrie sur les performances en post-sevrage et la digestibilité de quatre aliments à base d ’ orge, de blé, de maïs et de pois. Journées de la Recherche Porcine en France, v.32, p.193-200, 2000. Available from: <Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282320150_Incidence_de_la_granulometrie_sur_les_performances_en_post-sevrage_et_la_digestibilite_de_quatre_aliments_a_base_d%27orge _de_ble_de_mais_et_de_pois >. Accessed: Mar. 20, 2021.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication...
; LAWRENCE et al., 2003LAWRENCE, K. R. et al. Effects of soybean meal particle size on growth performance of nursery pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.81, p.2118-2122, 2003. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.4148/2378-5977.6699 >. Accessed: Aug. 15, 2020. doi: 10.4148/2378-5977.6699.
https://doi.org/10.4148/2378-5977.6699...
; ALMEIDA et al., 2021ALMEIDA, L. M. et al. Effect of feed particle size in pelleted diets on growth performance and digestibility of weaning piglets. Livestock Science, v.244, p.104364, 2021. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364 >. Accessed: Feb. 28, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.10...
). Therefore, selecting the ideal particle size will depend not only on the animal’s response, but also on the productive capacity of feed mills, as altering the particle size of ingredients and diets will affect the production rate (BAO et al., 2016BAO, Z. et al. Effect of particle size of wheat on nutrient digestibility, growth performance, and gut microbiota in growing pigs. Livestock Science , v.183, p.33-39, 2016. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016//j.livsci.2015.11.013 >. Accessed: Mar. 20, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2015.11.013.
https://doi.org/10.1016//j.livsci.2015.1...
).

Information on how SBM particle size affects piglets in the nursery phase is limited, despite SBM forming a large part of their diets. Based on these considerations, the objective of this study was to assess the effect of unground SBM or ground SBM with different particle sizes on nutrient digestibility and the growth performance of nursery piglets.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This study included 42 barrows and 21 females piglets of commercial lineage (PIC®, Hendersonville, TN, USA), with a mean initial weight of 6.86 kg ± 0.56 and 23 d of age. They were housed in 2.8 m2 pens with partially slatted flooring (approximately 65%) and supplied with a trough feeder, an automatic nipple drinker, and a brooder. Each pen contained three pigs of the same sex, resulting in five pens with males and two pens with females per treatment. Room temperature was initially set to 32 °C at weaning and was reduced weekly to meet the comfort level of the piglets.

The experimental diets were formulated to meet the requirements of nursery pigs, which were divided into three growing phases: pre-initial 1, from 23 to 32 d of age; pre-initial 2, from 32 to 44 d of age; and initial, from 44 to 63 d of age (Table 1). Diets were offered in mash form and contained soybean meal (SBM) with different particle sizes. A single lot of solvent-extracted SBM was ground using a hammer mill (TN-8, Nogueira S/A Máquinas Agrícolas, Itapira, SP, Brazil) driven by a 30 HP electric motor with a rotation speed of 3,500 rpm to achieve three different particle sizes: 1,017 µm (unground), 585 µm (10 mm screen), or 411 µm (3 mm screen) with a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 1.86, 1.85, and 1.87, respectively. Feed and water were offered ad libitum. The corresponding whole-diet distributions and mean particle sizes for each growth phase are presented in figure 1 and table 2, respectively.

Table 1
Ingredients and calculated nutrient content of the diet (as-fed basis, g/kg).

Figure 1
Particle size distribution of the complete diet, expressed as a percentage of the total sample, according to the soybean meal particle size in growth phases 1 (A), 2 (B) and 3 (C).

Table 2
Geometric mean diameter (GMD), and geometric standard deviation (GSD) of the complete diet according to SBM particle size in each growth phase.

The particle size distribution of SBM and of each complete diet was determined using a dry sieving method described by ZANOTTO & BELLAVER (1996ZANOTTO, D. L.; BELLAVER, C. Método de determinação da granulometria de ingredientes para uso em rações de suínos e aves. Embrapa Comunicado Técnico, p.1-5, 1996. ). Initially, a 200 g sample of SBM or feed was dried in a forced-air ventilation oven at 105 ºC for 24 h, equilibrated to room temperature, and weighed. Afterwards, the samples were passed through a sieve stack (Bertel Ind. Metalúrgica Ltda., Caieiras, SP, Brazil) with a set of six sieves (4.0, 2.0, 1.2, 0.6, 0.3, 0.15, and 0.0 mm) and shaken for 10 min. The amount of sample retained on each sieve was weighed, and the geometric mean diameter (GMD) and GSD were calculated for each sample.

The piglets were weighed individually at 23, 32, 44, and 63 days of age to evaluate their average body weight (BW) and average daily weight gain (DWG). Both the feed supplied and the leftovers were weighed to determine the average daily feed intake (DFI) and feed/gain ratio (F/G). Daily partial feces collection was conducted from 49 to 53 d of age, and the material was frozen until used. The fecal samples were thawed, homogenized, and dried in a forced-ventilation oven at 55 ºC until a constant weight was achieved. After drying, feces and feed samples were ground to 1 mm and analyzed for dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP, method 954.01) according to the AOAC (1995). Gross energy (GE) levels were determined using a calorimetric bomb (IkaWerke C2000 Control Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter; Ika-Werke GmbH & Co, Staufen, Germany). Acid insoluble ash (AIA) was added to the initial diets and used as an insoluble marker compound to calculate the digestibility coefficients, and AIA content in feed and feces samples was determined using the adapted gravimetric method proposed by VAN KEULEN & YOUNG (1977VAN KEULEN, J.; YOUNG, B.A. Evaluation of acid-insoluble ash as a natural marker in ruminant digestibility studies. Journal of Animal Science , v.44, p.282-287, 1977. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/jas1977.442282x >. Accessed: Mar. 05, 2021. doi:10.2527/jas1977.442282x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/jas1977.442282x...
).

The apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) of nutrients was calculated using the following formula:

ADC = [dietary nutrient - (feces nutrient × IF)]/dietary nutrient

where IF is the indigestibility factor, calculated as the ratio between AIA levels of diet and feces. The digestible energy (DE) was calculated using the following formula:

DE = GE of diet − (GE of fecal content × IF).

The data were analyzed as a randomized block design; the block (initial weight and gender) was considered a random effect and the pen was an experimental unit, with three treatments (SBM particle size) and seven replicates (five male and two female) of three pigs each. Orthogonal contrasts adjusted for unequal spacing between treatments (SBM particle size) were constructed to evaluate the linear and quadratic effects of reducing SBM particle size on performance and digestibility variables. All results were considered significant at P ≤0.05 and marginally significant at 0.05 ≤ P ≤ 0.1. All statistical procedures were performed using the Linear Mixed-Effects Models package (BATES et al., 2015BATES, D. et al. Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software, v.67, 2015. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01 >. Accessed: Jan. 20, 2021. doi: 10.18637/jss.v067.i01.
https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01...
) in R (R CORE TEAMR CORE TEAM. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, 2018., 2018).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

During phase 1 (23 to 32 d of age), reducing SBM particle size from 1,017 to 411 µm did not affect (P > 0.05) DFI or BW (Table 3). However, as the SBM particle size increased it marginally increased DWG (linear, P < 0.1) and improved F/G (linear, P < 0.05). During the post-weaning period, piglets undergo radical social, environmental, and nutritional changes, usually leading to low voluntary feed intake and, consequently, morphological, enzymatic, and inflammatory alterations. It is possible to observe atrophy of the intestinal villi, followed by other issues such as hyperplasia of the crypts, increases in the permeability of the mucous membrane, difficulty with pH balance, and reduced enzymatic activity of pepsin, trypsin, carboxypeptidases A and B, chymotrypsin, amylase, and lipase (HEDEMANN & JENSEN, 2004HEDEMANN, M. S.; JENSEN, B.B. Variations in enzyme activity in stomach and pancreatic tissue and digesta in piglets around weaning. Archives of Animal Nutrition, v.58, p.47-59, 2004. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/00039420310001656677 >. Accessed: Apr. 2, 2021. doi: 10.1080/00039420310001656677.
https://doi.org/10.1080/0003942031000165...
; MONTAGNE et al., 2007MONTAGNE, L. et al. Main intestinal markers associated with the changes in gut architecture and function in piglets after weaning. British Journal of Nutrition, v.97, p.45-57, 2007. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1017/S000711450720580X >. Accessed: Apr. 04, 2021. doi: 10.1017/S000711450720580X.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S000711450720580...
; BARSZCZ & SKOMIAŁ, 2011BARSZCZ, M.; SKOMIAŁ, J. The development of the small intestine of piglets - Chosen aspects. Journal of Animal and Feed Science, v.20, p.3-15, 2011. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.22358/jafs/66152/2011 >. Accessed: Mar. 20, 2021. doi: 10.22358/jafs/66152/2011.
https://doi.org/10.22358/jafs/66152/2011...
; MODINA et al., 2019MODINA, S.C. et al. Nutritional regulation of gut barrier integrity in weaning piglets. Animals, v.9, p.1-15, 2019. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121045 >. Accessed: Apr. 03, 2021. doi: 10.3390/ani9121045.
https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121045...
). Even though the difference in average particle size of the complete diet of phase 1 was small only 37 µm - it influenced the piglet’s consumption and; consequently, their digestive and absorption capacity could have been depressed.

Table 3
Effect of soybean meal particle size on average daily feed intake (DFI), average daily weight gain (DWG), feed/gain ratio (F/G) and average body weight of piglets in the nursery phase.

In the next phase (32 to 44 d of age), a quadratic response was observed (P < 0.05) for DFI, DWG, and F/G as the best results were obtained with piglets fed diets with the medium (585 µm) SBM particle size (Table 3). In a similar age period, LAWRENCE et al. (2003LAWRENCE, K. R. et al. Effects of soybean meal particle size on growth performance of nursery pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.81, p.2118-2122, 2003. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.4148/2378-5977.6699 >. Accessed: Aug. 15, 2020. doi: 10.4148/2378-5977.6699.
https://doi.org/10.4148/2378-5977.6699...
) did not detect any difference in performance variables between pigs fed diets containing 444 to 1,226 µm SBM. According to the authors, SBM had little effect on the average diet particle size (maximum difference of 103 µm between diets) due to its low dietary inclusion. In the present study, the distinct SBM particle sizes led to a difference of 195 µm between phase 2 diets, and both the coarser and finer SBM negatively affected performance. Other studies assessed different ingredients to change dietary particle size for pigs: HEALY et al. (1994HEALY, B. J. et al. Optimum particle size of corn and hard and soft sorghum for nursery pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.72, p.2227-2236, 1994. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x >. Accessed: Mar. 15, 2021. doi: 10.2527/1994.7292227x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x...
) reported a linear reduction on DFI and DWG when corn and sorghum particle sizes were reduced from 900 to 300 µm; MAVROMICHALIS et al. (2000MAVROMICHALIS, I. et al. Enzyme supplementation and particle size of wheat in diets for nursery and finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.78, p.3086-3095, 2000. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/2000.78123086x >. Accessed: Mar. 14, 2021. doi: 10.2527/2000.78123086X.
https://doi.org/10.2527/2000.78123086x...
) observed lower DFI when wheat particle size was reduced from 1300 to 400 µm; ALMEIDA et al. (2021ALMEIDA, L. M. et al. Effect of feed particle size in pelleted diets on growth performance and digestibility of weaning piglets. Livestock Science, v.244, p.104364, 2021. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364 >. Accessed: Feb. 28, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.10...
) reported a quadratic response on F/G when the particle size of the whole diet was varied between 394 to 695 µm, as the best results were obtained with 534 µm. According to the current study, when looking at the overall pre-initial period (Phase 1 + 2; 23 to 44 d of age), the best results for DWG and F/G (quadratic, P < 0.05), and BW (quadratic, P < 0.1) were observed in piglets fed the medium particle size of SBM, although, DFI was not affected by particle size (Table 3).

In phase 3 (44 to 63 d of age), the alteration of SBM particle size did not influence DFI (P > 0.05), but there was a marginally increased (quadratic, P < 0.1) on DWG and a linear improvement (P < 0.05) on F/G when increasing SBM particle size. When analyzing the overall period (23 to 63 d) DFI, DWG, F/G, and BW were affected (linear, P<0.1), as every 100 µm increase in SBM particle sizes led to an increased feed intake of 5.1 g and an average live weight gain of 189 g, and a 0.009 improvement on F/G. ALMEIDA et al. (2021ALMEIDA, L. M. et al. Effect of feed particle size in pelleted diets on growth performance and digestibility of weaning piglets. Livestock Science, v.244, p.104364, 2021. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364 >. Accessed: Feb. 28, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.10...
) evaluated distinct particle sizes of pelleted feed for pigs and reported a notable impact on feed intake, where higher particle size linearly increased DFI; and consequently DWG. Similar results were observed by HEALY et al. (1994HEALY, B. J. et al. Optimum particle size of corn and hard and soft sorghum for nursery pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.72, p.2227-2236, 1994. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x >. Accessed: Mar. 15, 2021. doi: 10.2527/1994.7292227x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x...
), who suggested that the ideal particle size for piglets increases as the pigs grow older.

Reducing the particle size of a feed or ingredient will increase the surface area exposed to digestive enzymes (HEALY et al., 1994HEALY, B. J. et al. Optimum particle size of corn and hard and soft sorghum for nursery pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.72, p.2227-2236, 1994. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x >. Accessed: Mar. 15, 2021. doi: 10.2527/1994.7292227x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/1994.7292227x...
), thus improving the digestibility of some dietary fractions (WONDRA et al., 1995WONDRA, K. J. et al. Effects of particle size and pelleting on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and stomach morphology in finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science , v.73, p.757-763, 1995. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/1995.733757x >. Accessed: Mar. 05, 2021. doi: 10.2527/1995.733757x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/1995.733757x...
; ALBAR et al., 2000ALBAR, J. et al. Incidence de la granulométrie sur les performances en post-sevrage et la digestibilité de quatre aliments à base d ’ orge, de blé, de maïs et de pois. Journées de la Recherche Porcine en France, v.32, p.193-200, 2000. Available from: <Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282320150_Incidence_de_la_granulometrie_sur_les_performances_en_post-sevrage_et_la_digestibilite_de_quatre_aliments_a_base_d%27orge _de_ble_de_mais_et_de_pois >. Accessed: Mar. 20, 2021.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication...
; GUILLOU & LANDEAU, 2000GUILLOU, D.; LANDEAU, E. Granulométrie et nutrition procine. INRA Productions Animales, v.12, p.137-144, 2000. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.20870/productions-animales.2000.13.2.3775 >. Accessed: Mar. 17, 2021. doi: 10.20870/productions-animales.2000.13.2.3775.
https://doi.org/10.20870/productions-ani...
; ROJAS & STEIN, 2015ROJAS, O. J.; STEIN, H.H. Effects of reducing the particle size of corn grain on the concentration of digestible and metabolizable energy and on the digestibility of energy and nutrients in corn grain fed to growing pigs. Livestock Science , v.181, p.187-193, 2015. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2015.09.013 >. Accessed: Mar. 17, 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2015.09.013.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2015.09...
). In the current study, reducing SBM particle size marginally increased (linear, P < 0.1) DE; however, feeding diets containing different particle sizes did not influence (P > 0.05) the apparent digestibility coefficients of the DM and CP (Table 4).

Table 4
Effect of soybean meal particle size on the apparent digestibility coefficients (ADC) of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP), and the digestible energy (DE) of piglets aged 49 to 53 days3.

The extent of the pigs’ response to different dietary particle sizes on either performance or nutrient digestibility seems to depend on the raw materials selected as a tool to establish these different sizes. ALBAR et al. (2000ALBAR, J. et al. Incidence de la granulométrie sur les performances en post-sevrage et la digestibilité de quatre aliments à base d ’ orge, de blé, de maïs et de pois. Journées de la Recherche Porcine en France, v.32, p.193-200, 2000. Available from: <Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282320150_Incidence_de_la_granulometrie_sur_les_performances_en_post-sevrage_et_la_digestibilite_de_quatre_aliments_a_base_d%27orge _de_ble_de_mais_et_de_pois >. Accessed: Mar. 20, 2021.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication...
) verified distinct responses in DM digestibility and energy when comparing two particle sizes of barley meal, corn, and pea; ALMEIDA et al. (2021ALMEIDA, L. M. et al. Effect of feed particle size in pelleted diets on growth performance and digestibility of weaning piglets. Livestock Science, v.244, p.104364, 2021. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364 >. Accessed: Feb. 28, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2020.104364.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2020.10...
) reported linear responses for DM and CP digestibility and a quadratic response for DE when working with different corn particle sizes. KAMPHUES et al. (2007KAMPHUES, J. et al. Lower grinding intensity of cereals for dietetic effects in piglets? Livestock Science , v.109, p.132-134, 2007. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2007.01.120 >. Accessed: Mar. 24, 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2007.01.120.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2007.01...
) found that coarse particle size did not affect DM digestibility but had a positive effect on gut microbiota and gut health.

The use of diets with coarser particles (23.8% of particles >1000 µm or with a medium size >700 µm) will likely increase the amount of DM in the stomach and reduce transit time, eventually increasing the number of anaerobic bacteria and the production of short-chain fatty acids, mainly lactic acid (MIKKELSEN et al., 2004MIKKELSEN, L. L. et al. Effects of physical properties of feed on microbial ecology and survival of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium in the pig gastrointestinal tract. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, v.70, p.3485-3492, 2004. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.70.6.3485-3492.2004 >. Accessed: Mar. 22, 2021. doi: 10.1128/AEM.70.6.3485-3492.2004.
https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.70.6.3485-34...
; CANIBE et al., 2005CANIBE, N. et al. Feed physical form and formic acid addition to the feed affect the gastrointestinal ecology and growth performance of growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, v.83, p.1287-1302, 2005. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.2527/2005.8361287x >. Accessed: Mar. 23, 2021. doi: 10.2527/2005.8361287x.
https://doi.org/10.2527/2005.8361287x...
). Lactic acid bacteria can compete with other bacteria for nutrients and binding sites in the gut, and may increase the intestinal production of mucins and antioxidants and influence the immune system (YANG et al. 2015YANG, F. et al. The use of lactic acid bacteria as a probiotic in swine diets. Pathogens. v.4, p.34-45, 2015. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4010034 >. Accessed: Apr. 04, 2021. doi: 10.3390/pathogens4010034.
https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4010034...
). The undissociated form of these acids can pass through the membrane of these bacteria; although, they dissociate inside them and reduce intracellular pH, resulting in cell death (RUSSELL & DIEZ-GONZALEZ, 1998RUSSELL, J. B.; DIEZ-GONZALEZ, F. The effects of fermentation acids on bacterial growth. Advances in Microbiology Physiology, v.39, p.228-234, 1998. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2911(08)60017-x >. Accessed: Apr. 03, 2021. doi: 10.1016/s0065-2911(08)60017-x.
https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2911(08)60...
). In other words, the gastric and intestinal conditions established by feeding coarse particles can be seen as an additional protective barrier against the transmission of undesirable anaerobic bacteria, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli (KIARIE & MILLS, 2019KIARIE, E. G.; MILLS, A. Role of feed processing on gut health and function in pigs and poultry: conundrum of optimal particle size and hydrothermal regimens. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, v.6, p.1-13, 2019. Available from: <Available from: https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00019 >. Accessed: Apr. 01, 2021. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00019.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00019...
). Therefore, diets with coarser SBM may have contributed to improved gut health of the piglets, which resulted in improved growth performance.

CONCLUSION:

The results obtained in this study demonstrated that the particle size of soybean meal influences the growth of nursery piglets. Diets containing soybean meal with 585 µm particles were ideal during the first half of the nursery period, from 23 to 44 d of age. During the following period, from 44 to 63 d of age, diets containing unground soybean meal (average particle size of 1,017 µm) were optimal. However, considering the overall evaluation period, the grinding of soybean meal is not required for piglets during the nursery phase.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This study was carried out with the support of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brazil (CAPES) - Funding Code 001

REFERENCES

  • CR-2021-0518.R3

BIOETHICS AND BIOSECURITY COMMITTEE APPROVAL

  • BIOETHICS AND BIOSECURITY COMMITTEE APPROVAL

    The experimental procedures involving animals were approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    01 Apr 2022
  • Date of issue
    2022

History

  • Received
    06 July 2021
  • Accepted
    08 Nov 2021
  • Reviewed
    29 Jan 2022
Universidade Federal de Santa Maria Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Centro de Ciências Rurais , 97105-900 Santa Maria RS Brazil , Tel.: +55 55 3220-8698 , Fax: +55 55 3220-8695 - Santa Maria - RS - Brazil
E-mail: cienciarural@mail.ufsm.br