New High Fat Oat Sows Potential as Alternative Feed for Swine

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

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1458. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1458

Feeding trials conducted by the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Animal and Poultry Science show a new high fat oat holds tremendous potential as an alternative feed for swine.

Oats are generally not fed to swine because their high fibre content impairs the digestibility of various nutrients giving them a much lower energy value than either wheat or barley.

The new line of oat, which is being developed at the University's Crop Development Centre, overcomes the higher fibre content by increasing the fat content of the oats.

Swine nutritionist Dr. Phil Thacker says, although the crop is not yet commercially available, researchers were able to access a large enough sample to conduct a full scale grower finisher trial.

"We did a feeding trial where we took pigs from approximately 20 kilograms up to market weight. We measured nutrient digestibility where we measured the digestibility of nutrients such as the dry matter, the crude protein and the energy.

Typically we noticed about a five percent improvement in the digestibility of those nutrients with the high fat oat verses the normal oat.

We also measured pig performance and we got significantly better daily gains and improved feed conversion.

In fact, interestingly the high fat oat produced performance in the pigs that would be similar to a barley diet.

That's very interesting because we haven't tended to use oats at all in pig diets and now, with this oat, it certainly provides an alternative for producers.

We also looked at the carcass traits of the pigs and there was no detrimental effects of the higher fat on the carcass quality of the pigs".

The new breeding line will require three to four more years of agronomic testing before it'll become commercially available.

Dr. Thacker says, once the high fat oat is available, it'll offer grain producers another cropping alternative and pig producers another alternative feed.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor