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Genetics of digestive efficiency in growing pigs fed a conventional or a high‐fibre diet

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Vanille Déru (Inrae) et al., Journal of animal breeding and genetics, 2020, septembre, 13 pages

The use of diets with increased dietary fibre content (HF) from alternative feedstuffs is a solution to limit the impact of increased feed costs on pig production. This study aimed at determining the impact of an alternative HF diet on pig digestibility and at estimating genetic parameters of this trait. Digestibility coefficients (DC) of energy, organic matter and nitrogen were predicted from faecal samples analysed with near infrared spectrometry for 1,242 samples, and it represented 654 Large White pigs fed a conventional (CO) diet and 588 fed a HF diet. Growth and feed efficiency traits, carcass composition and meat quality traits were recorded. Pigs fed the HF diet had significantly lower DC than pigs fed the CO diet (−4.5 to 6.0 points). The DC were moderately to highly heritable (about 0.26 ± 0.12 and 0.54 ± 0.15 in the CO and the HF diet, respectively). Genetic correlations were favourable with feed conversion ratio, daily feed intake and residual feed intake, but unfavourable with average daily gain (ADG) and carcass yield (CY). To conclude, DC could be an interesting trait to include in future breeding objectives if pigs were fed diet with HF diets, but adverse genetic trends with ADG and CY would have to be taken into account.

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