Dietary protein and cellulose effects on chemical and microbial characteristics of swine feces and stored manure

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Received for publication January 24, 2008. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of dietary crude protein (14.5 or 12.0%) and cellulose (8.7 or 2.5%) levels on composition of feces and manure after 8 wk of diet feeding and storage. Pigs were fed twice daily; after each feeding, urine and feces were collected and added to manure storage containers. On weeks 2 and 8 after initiation of the experiment, fresh fecal and manure samples were obtained. On Week 8, increased dietary cellulose resulted in significantly higher levels of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and phenols in feces compare to other diets. In contrast, dietary protein had the greatest effect on manure chemical composition; lower protein decreased sulfur content, ammonia, and phenolic compound concentrations. High levels of either dietary cellulose or protein tended to increase microbial community similarity in fecal samples, but only high protein increased similarity among manure sample microbial communities. Fecal and manure samples from Week 8 differed from samples taken in Week 2 both in chemical and microbiological composition. Week 2 samples had lower concentrations of many of chemical compounds and microbial diversity than samples from Week 8. The fecal results indicate that after 2 wk of feeding experimental diets the animals were not fully adapted to the diets. More importantly, after only 2 wk of urine and fecal collection, manure was not representative of stored manure, limiting its usefulness in developing standards and recommendations for on-farm management practices.

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