1st Page



This article in

  1. Vol. 85 No. 11, p. 2982-2993
    Received: July 19, 2007
    Accepted: July 11, 2007
    Published: December 8, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):


Growth performance, gastrointestinal microbial activity, and nutrient digestibility in early-weaned pigs fed diets containing flaxseed and carbohydrase enzyme12

  1. E. Kiarie*3,
  2. C. M. Nyachoti*,
  3. B. A. Slominski* and
  4. G. Blank
  1. Departments of Animal Science and
    Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada


The effects of ground flaxseed (FS) and a multicarbohydrase enzyme (C) supplement on piglet performance, gastrointestinal microbial activity, and nutrient digestibility were investigated in a 28-d trial. The enzyme supplement provided 500 units of pectinase, 50 units of cellulase, 400 units of mannanase, 1,200 units of xylanase, 450 units of glucanase, and 45 units of galactanase per kilogram of diet. Ninety-six pigs were weaned at 17 d of age (BW, 6.1 ± 0.4 kg, mean ± SD) and assigned to treatments based on a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement in a completely randomized design, with 6 pens per diet (4 pigs per pen). The diets contained wheat, barley, peas, soybean meal, and canola meal with 0 or 12% FS, and were fed without or with C. Flaxseed was included by changing the levels of the other ingredients to balance the diets for DE and nutrients. Diets had similar nutrient contents and met the NRC (1998) nutrient specifications, with the exception of DE, CP, and AA, which were 95, 94, and 97% of the NRC requirements, respectively. Diets were fed in a 2-phase feeding program (2 wk/phase). Feed intake and BW were measured weekly, and 1 pig per pen with a BW nearest the pen average was bled weekly to evaluate plasma urea nitrogen. On d 28, fresh fecal samples were collected from each pen and 1 pig per pen with a BW nearest the pen average was killed to evaluate intestinal microbial activity and nutrient digestibility. A dietary effect on piglet performance was observed only in wk 3, when the FS diets decreased (P = 0.005) ADG and G:F, tended to decrease (P = 0.070) ADFI, and increased (P = 0.027) plasma urea nitrogen. An interaction between FS and C was observed for ileal digesta viscosity (P = 0.045), such that C increased viscosity in the FS diet but had no effect in the non-FS diet. Flaxseed and C interacted to affect ileal ammonia content (P = 0.049), such that in the absence of FS, pigs fed the diet with C had lower ammonia than those on the diet without C. Flaxseed and C affected other ileal parameters independently. Pigs fed the FS diets had decreased (P = 0.003 to 0.033) anaerobic spore counts, organic acid, DM, CP, and nonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) digestibility compared with pigs fed the non-FS diets, whereas pigs fed the C-supplemented diets had greater (P = 0.009 to 0.061) lactobacilli counts, lactate, DM, and NSP digestibility than pigs fed the unsupplemented diets. In conclusion, FS reduced ileal microbial activity, nutrient digestibilities, and piglet performance in wk 3. The multicarbohydrase supplement increased ileal DM and NSP digestibilities as well as lactobacilli counts and lactate.

Copyright © 2007. Copyright 2007 Journal of Animal Science