A regional evaluation of the effect of fiber type in gestation diets on sow reproductive performance

Document Type


Publication Date



A cooperative regional research study using 194 sows, from which data were collected from 381 litters, was conducted at 3 research stations to determine the effects of added psyllium (a concentrated fiber source) or soybean hulls to gestation diets on reproductive performance of sows and preweaning performance of their pigs. Primiparous and multiparous sows were allotted to the 3 treatments of control (corn and soybean meal-based), 0.30% psyllium, or 20% soybean hulls. Sows fed the control and 0.30% psyllium diets were provided 1.82 kg/d, and sows fed the 20% soybean hulls diet were provided 2.0 kg/d to equalize ME, Lys, Ca, P, and vitamin and trace mineral intake. Treatments 1 to 3 had 130, 130, and 121 litters per treatment from 64, 64, and 63 sows, respectively. Gestating sows fed psyllium had a greater (P < 0.01 to 0.10) d 110 gestation, farrowing, weaning, and 17 d postpartum BW and gestation ADG compared with sows fed soybean hulls. Sows fed psyllium also had a greater (P < 0.10 and 0.08) d 110 gestation BW and gestation ADG than the control sows. Sows fed soybean hulls had a reduced (P < 0.06) farrowing BW compared with the control sows. Sows fed psyllium weaned lighter (P < 0.09) pigs than sows fed the control diet. Litter size was not affected (P > 0.10) by diet. Sows fed psyllium had a reduced (P < 0.03) feed intake compared with sows fed soybean hulls for d 5 to 7 postpartum, and sows fed the control diet were intermediate. Fecal scores (1 to 5 with 1 = dry and 5 = watery) were greater (P < 0.001) and DM content was less (P < 0.001 to 0.01) in the feces of sows fed soybean hulls compared with sows fed psyllium or the control diet on d 112 of gestation and d 4 postpartum. Fecal scores were greater (P < 0.10) and fecal DM content was less (P < 0.02) in sows fed psyllium compared with sows fed the control diet only on d 4 postpartum. In summary, sows fed soybean hulls during gestation had reduced BW compared with sows fed the control diets. In contrast, sows fed psyllium had an increased BW. ©2008 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of Animal Science

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.