Effects of adding fermented wheat to liquid diets on gastrointestinal characteristics in weanling piglets were studied. Gastrointestinal characteristics of 40 28-d-old weanling piglets were measured at the day of weaning (d 0) and at d 4 and 8 after weaning. Piglets were group-housed and fed twice daily. Feeding level was based on the average metabolic BW of piglets per group. Groups were fed a liquid diet with either 45% unfermented wheat (FERM_0) or 45% fermented wheat (FERM_45). The other 55% of the diet was identical. To ferment wheat, water at 30 degrees C was added to milled wheat in a 1:2.2 ratio. The pH and contents of lactic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid were measured in the digesta of the stomach, three parts of the small intestine, cecum, and large intestine. In addition, changes in microbial populations in the digesta were studied during the period after weaning. Moreover, villus height, crypt depth, and villus shape were studied in the small intestine. Piglets fed FERM_45 showed lower gastric pH (P < 0.05) at d 4 and higher gastric lactic acid content (P < 0.001) at both d 4 and 8. Piglets fed FERM_45 showed in the first part of the small intestine higher villus height (P < 0.01) at d 8 and higher villus:crypt ratio (P < 0.001) at both d 4 and 8. Villus shape tended (P < 0.10) to be favorable for piglets fed FERM_45. The present study indicates that feeding a partly fermented liquid diet to weanling piglets may be a concept to prevent undesirable changes in mucosal architecture after weaning.
|Journal||Journal of Animal Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|