The influence of dietary fibre sources on growth, feed efficiency and digestibilities of dry matter and protein in rats
Mitaru, Barnabas N
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Hulls from Tower canola (TCH), Regent canola (RCH) and soya beans (SBH) were included at 10 or 20% in soya bean meal based diets for rats, to compare the effects of these fibre sources on growth, feed consumption, feed efficiency and dry matter and protein digestibilities. A soya bean meal based control diet and another diet containing a purified fibre source (Alphafloc) at a 10% level, were included for a further comparison. Each of the diets was fed to six rats in a 4-week feeding trial. The diets gave similar weight gain, feed consumption and feed efficiency values. The control diet had the highest mean coefficient of dry matter digestibility (80.8%) and the 20% SBH and Alphafloc diets had the lowest (72.4 and 72.2%). The canola hull and 10% SBH and Alphafloc diets had intermediate values (73.2–75.0%). There was a highly significant negative correlation between the dietary fibre content and the dry matter digestibility of the diets. The control and Alphafloc diets showed the highest and similar apparent (81.4 and 79.9%) and true (86.8 and 85.3%) digestibility values for dietary protein. The 20% canola and soya bean hull diets showed the lowest apparent (71.4–73.7%) and true (76.9–79.4%) digestibility coefficients. The 10% canola and soya bean hull diets had intermediate apparent and true protein digestibility values (73.2-75.3 and 78.4–80.6%, respectively). The chemical analysis of the fibre sources showed that Alphafloc had the highest cellulose content (88%) and the lowest lignin content (0.6%), while canola hulls had the lowest cellulose content (25.4–28.4%) and the highest lignin content (26.6–28.9%). Soya bean hulls had intermediate cellulose (50%) and low lignin (1.3%) contents. The results suggest that cellulose did not have a detrimental effect on the dietary protein digestibility but lignin and/or some other undetermined factors in the hulls had an adverse effect on protein digestibility.