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Performance of Grower Pigs Fed Diets Adjusted for Field Peas Digestible Energy Content

by 5m Editor
2 April 2004, at 12:00am

By Ruurd T. Zijlstra and John F. Patience for Prairie Swine Centre - Field peas are used increasingly as a source for protein and energy in swine rations in Western Canada. The variability of the DE content of field peas has been described in the 1997 Annual Report.

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Summary

The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of increased knowledge of nutritional value on animal performance.

The DE content in 11 field pea samples ranged from 3098 to 3739 kcal/kg. The specific objective of this study was to reach equal performance among growing pigs fed the described field pea samples. Thus, 30% field pea diets were formulated with equal DE, protein, and total amino acid content (3300 kcal DE, 16.3 % CP, and 0.92% total lysine).

Minimal differences were observed in average daily feed intake and subsequent pig performance among the 11 field pea diets, indicating that reformulation of diets using known values for DE content resulted in fairly equal pig performance. More detailed knowledge of ingredient composition is needed to obtain uniform pig performance.

Introduction

Recent research results indicate that locally grown feed ingredients express a high variability in nutritional value for grower-finisher pigs. The highest and lowest DE value differed 20% within eleven samples of field peas grown on a single quarter of land in central Saskatchewan (Figure 1).

Field peas are becoming an increasingly important protein and energy source for growerfinisher pigs in Western Canada. However, benefits to address the range in nutritional value have been poorly assessed. Thus, the specific objective of this study was to reach equal performance among pigs fed eleven field pea samples that differ in DE content.

Experimental Procedures

Thus, 30% field pea diets were formulated with equal DE, protein, and total amino acid content (3300 kcal DE, 16.3 % CP, and 0.92% total lysine). A diet including barley, wheat, and soybean meal with an identical nutrient content was considered the overall control diet. Each diet was consumed freely for 28 days by 6 grower pigs (3 barrow/3 gilt), housed individually with an overall weight range of 29 to 56 kg.

Results and Discussion

Minimal differences were observed in average daily feed intake among the 11 field pea diets (Figure 2), indicating that re-formulation of diets using obtained values for content of DE resulted in fairly equal intake. Furthermore, intake of the control diet was not different than any of the field pea diets, indicating that field peas are excellent to be included as ingredient in diets for growing pigs. Palatability of field peas seems a lesser issue than thought previously.

Average daily gain (Figure 3) or feed efficiency (Figure 4) seemed reduced for three of the 11 field pea diets, indicating that factors in field peas other than DE, crude protein and total amino acids content might influence performance.

Implications

Nutritional value (quality) of locally produced grains is becoming an important issue for the pork industry. Not all the field peas produced will be of an identical quality, which is acceptable, as long as the nutritional value of a particular batch of field peas can been identified. Correct assessment of nutritional value of specific batches of field peas will enable correct pricing and allow reformulation of diet to animal requirements. Cost of production and the environmental impact of the pork industry can thereby be reduced. Determination of nutritional value of field pea should have implications for pricing, diet re-formulation, and subsequent uniformity of performance.

Acknowledgements

Mr. Leon Lueke in Humboldt, SK, who grew and harvested the 11 field pea varieties and donated samples to PSCI for research purposes, initiated the project. The presented work was supported financially by the SPI Marketing Group and the Agriculture Development Fund of the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture and Food. The pork producers of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are acknowledged for strategic support of PSCI.


Figure 1. The digestible energy content of 11 field pea samples.


Figure 2. Feed intake of growing pigs fed diets adjusted for field pea
DE content and a wheat-barley-soybean meal control diet.


Figure 3. Average daily gain of growing pigs fed diets adjusted for field pea
DE content and a wheat-barley-soybean meal control diet.


Figure 4. Feed efficiency of growing pigs fed diets adjusted for field pea
DE content and a wheat-barley-soybean meal control diet.

Source - Prairie Swine Centre - February 2004