Partial dehulling increases the energy content and nutrient digestibility of barley in growing pigs

  • Wang, Hong Liang (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Shi, Meng (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Xu, Xiao (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Pan, Long (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, Ling (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Piao, Xiang Shu (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2016.06.02
  • Accepted : 2016.08.14
  • Published : 2017.04.01


Objective: The hull attached to the barley kernel can be mechanically removed thus reducing the fiber content of the barley. This experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of partial dehulling on the nutrient digestibility as well as the digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) content of barley in pigs. Methods: Two hulled barley samples (high fiber barley [HF] and low fiber barley [LF]) with either high or low fiber contents were obtained from the Hubei and Jiangsu Provinces of China. A portion of the two barleys was mechanically dehulled (dehulled high fiber barley [DHF] and dehulled low fiber barley [DLF]). Thirty barrows (initial $BW=31.5{\pm}3.2kg$) were assigned to one of five diets in a randomized complete block design. The five diets consisted of 96.9% corn, HF, LF, DHF, or DLF supplemented with 3.1% minerals and vitamins. Each diet was fed to six barrows housed in individual metabolism crates for a 10-d acclimation period followed by a 5-day total but separate collection of feces and urine. Results: The daily loss of gross energy (GE) in feces was lower (p<0.01) for pigs fed DHF than for those fed HF. The daily N intake and fecal N loss were lowest (p<0.01) for pigs fed the corn diet. The DE and ME as well as the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter, GE, organic matter, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) of DHF or DLF were higher (p<0.01) than the values in HF and LF, respectively while the values except the ATTD of NDF and ADF in DLF were higher (p<0.01) than the values in DHF and were comparable to corn. Conclusion: The DE and ME contents as well as the ATTD of nutrients in both DHF and DLF barley were improved compared with the HF and LF barley. Moreover, the nutritive value of DLF barley was comparable to the yellow-dent corn used in the study.


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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