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Predicting feed digestibility from NIRS analysis of pig faeces

  • D. Bastianelli (a1), L. Bonnal (a1), Y. Jaguelin-Peyraud (a2) and J. Noblet (a2)


Digestibility is a key parameter in the evaluation of feeds; however, the measurements on animals require heavy experimental trials, which are hardly feasible when large numbers of determinations are required – for example, in genetic studies. This experiment aimed at investigating the possibility to predict digestibility from NIRS spectra measured on faeces. A total of 196 samples were available from a digestibility experiment investigating the effects of age and genetic background of Large White pigs fed the same diet, rich in fibre (NDF=21.4% DM). Digestibility of dry matter (dDM), organic matter (dOM), nitrogen content (dN), energy (dE) and apparent digestible energy content (ADE) were calculated, as well as total N content of faeces (N). The faeces samples were submitted to reflectance NIRS analysis after freeze-drying and grinding. Calibration errors and validation errors were, respectively, 0.08 and 0.13% DM for total N in faeces, 0.97% and 1.08% for dDM, 0.79% and 1.04% for dOM, 1.04% and 1.47% for dN, 0.87% and 1.12% for dE and 167 and 213 kJ/kg DM for ADE. These results indicate that NIRS can account for digestibility differences due to animal factors, with an acceptable accuracy. NIRS appears to be a promising tool for large-scale evaluations of digestibility. It could also be used for the study of digestibility of different feeds, after appropriate calibration based on a wide range of feed types.


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Predicting feed digestibility from NIRS analysis of pig faeces

  • D. Bastianelli (a1), L. Bonnal (a1), Y. Jaguelin-Peyraud (a2) and J. Noblet (a2)


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