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Pigs can eat ethanol co-products, too

by 5m Editor
22 November 2006, at 9:29am

US - Most people who follow the explosive growth of the ethanol industry have seen cattle as the winner in the battle to use the leftovers -- distillers' dried grains, or DDGs.

Not so fast, say swine nutritionists. Pigs can eat DDGs, too, although maybe not in the quantities as cattle, which have a rumen in their digestive system to break down fiber. While cattle can eat up to about 30% DDGs in their diet without hurting performance, hogs can use 10% to 15% DDGs, and in some cases, more.

That was the message delivered at a pork industry sponsored meeting this week in Des Moines, Iowa. Representatives of that meat segment shared research on how porkers perform when fed DDGs.

Hans Stein, a swine nutritionist at the University of Illinois, recently collected a number of samples of DDGs, and found that they had an average protein content of 27%, compared to about nine percent for straight corn, and 44% for soybean meal. But one problem with DDGs is the variability of the protein. It ranged from 24% to 30% in Stein's samples. And the protein component that is most needed by pigs -- lysine -- was even more variable at 0.54% to 0.99%.

Source: Agriculture



5m Editor