Comparative response of swine and rats to high-fiber or high-protein diets.

W. G. Pond, V. H. Varel, J. S. Dickson, W. M. Haschek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty-four growing swine and 24 growing rats were fed high-protein (34%) diets on an ad libitum basis to determine their effects on body weight, carcass characteristics, intestinal microbiological profile and visceral organ weights. High dietary fiber reduced body weight gain and gain:feed ratio in both swine and rats and decreased body fatness in swine; it increased relative kidney weight (percentage of body weight) in both swine and rats and decreased relative liver weight in rats but increased it in swine. Absolute weights of stomach and large intestine were unaffected by high fiber in either species, but relative weight of small and large intestine was increased in swine and relative weight of stomach was increased in rats. High dietary protein increased absolute and relative weights of kidneys in both species and increased relative liver in swine but not in rats. Absolute weight of large intestine was increased by high dietary protein in rats and tended to be increased in swine; relative large intestine weight was increased in both species. The microbial profile of large intestinal contents of rats showed no effect of diet on Enterobacteriaceae, Campylobacter, Salmonella or total anaerobes and cellulolytic organisms, but coliforms were higher in rats fed high fiber or high protein than in controls. We conclude that dietary levels of fiber and protein influence growth of specific segments of the gastrointestinal tract of growing rats and swine, probably by different mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-723
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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