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Effects of Caromic 105 on Growth Weaner Pigs

24 April 2014

Caromic 105, a carob meal product, could replace lactose in the diet of weaned piglets at an inclusion rate up to five per cent without adverse effects on performance, according to new research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is an evergreen native to the Mediterranean area. Its fruit, technically a legume, consists of leathery brown pods that contain hard brown seeds in a sweet pulp. The pods can be crushed, with or without the seeds, to produce a meal that is fed to animals.

Because carob pod meal contains 40 to 45 per cent sugars, it promotes feed intake and adds energy to the diet.

Carob pods also contain tannins. As inclusion rates of carob pod meal increase, the tannins can inhibit nutrient digestibility, which limits carob inclusion in swine diets. However, at lower inclusion rates, carob pod meal can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea in weanling pigs due to the effect of the tannins on the intestinal mucosa.

Caromic 105 is a deseeded, toasted, micronised carob pod meal product.

An experiment was conducted at the Hans H. Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to determine the effect of Caromic 105 on growth performance of weanling pigs.

Experimental Design

A total of 150 weanling pigs with an average initial body weight of 6.49kg were used in the experiment.

Pigs were fed on a two-phase programme, with days 0 to 14 comprising phase 1 and days 14 to 28 comprising phase 2.

Within each phase, three diets were used. The control diet was based on corn, soybean meal, fish meal and lactose. In the experimental diets, three or five per cent Caromic 105 was added at the expense of lactose.

Individual pig bodyweights were recorded at the beginning of the experiment and at the ends of phases 1 and 2. Daily feed allotments and feed left in the feeders were also recorded to calculate the average daily feed intake and gain:feed ratio for phase 1, phase 2, and the entire experimental period.

Feeding Caromic 105 does not affect growth performance

There was no difference in bodyweight at day 14 or day 28 between pigs fed the control diet, three per cent or five per cent Caromic 105. Pigs had the same average daily feed intake regardless of diet.

Average daily gain and gain:feed ratios were the same for days 0-14, days 14-28, and days 0-28 for pigs fed the control diet, three per cent or five per cent Caromic 105 diets.

Table 1. Growth performance of weanling pigs fed diets supplemented with Caromic 105
 DietP-value
ItemControl3% Caromic5% CaromicDietLinearQuadratic
Bodyweight, kg            
- day 0 6.49 6.5 6.49 1.00 0.99 0.99
- day 14 8.18 7.92 7.99 0.83 0.64 0.70
- day 28 15.5 14.76 14.99 0.64 0.48 0.54
Average daily gain, g            
- days 0-14 121 103 107 0.44 0.29 0.46
- days 14-28 523 487 500 0.46 0.37 0.39
- days 0-28 322 295 303 0.28 0.23 0.30
Average daily feed intake, g            
- days 0-14 212 191 189 0.49 0.26 0.67
- days 14-28 703 645 669 0.32 0.30 0.27
- days 0-28 458 419 429 0.32 0.24 0.34
Gain:feed ratio            
- days 0-14 0.564 0.544 0.569 0.81 0.95 0.52
- days 14-28 0.744 0.734 0.747 0.56 0.91 0.29
- days 0-28 0.704 0.69 0.709 0.36 0.83 0.16

Key Points

Caromic 105 can replace lactose in diets fed to weanling pigs at inclusion rates of up to five per cent with no negative effects on growth performance.

The fact that substituting Caromic 105 for an equal amount of lactose did not affect the gain:feed ratio indicates that the metabolisable energy content of Caromic 105 is similar to that of lactose.

This report - entitled 'Effects of Caromic 105 on growth performance of weanling pigs' - is based on unpublished data by Yanhong Liu and Hans H. Stein.

April 2014

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