Zero-Tannin Fababean, a Safe Feed Pulse for Young Pigs

ALBERTA - Research conducted by Alberta Agriculture and Food has proven that zero-tannin (ZT) fababean can be safely offered to young pigs without negatively impacting feed intake or growth performance.
calendar icon 6 March 2007
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SnowbirdTM ZT fababean out-yields field pea by 15 bushels per acre in Grey and Black Wooded soils of Alberta under temperate growing conditions (more than 400 mm annual rainfall). As a rotational crop to cereals, ZT fababean fixates the most atmospheric nitrogen compared to other locally grown pulse crops. Its high protein (between 28 and 30 per cent) and energy content (2.25 Mcal net energy) makes it an attractive feed alternative to locally grown field pea and imported soybean meal.

“A recent weaned pig trial indicated that ZT fababean can be included up to 40 per cent in late nursery diets in full replacement for imported soybean meal,” says Dr. Eduardo Beltranena, pork research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Food, Edmonton. “Tannins have been reduced to less that one per cent in this modern fababean variety (SnowbirdTM).”

It was suspected, that complex carbohydrates typically found in beans might hinder digestion in young animals. However, Beltranena established that weaned pigs did not even need an adaptation period to ZT fababean in the diet. Pigs offered up to 40 per cent ZT fababean performed as well as control animals fed imported soybean meal from the first week on trial.

Alberta Agriculture and Food has mounting evidence supporting the potential use of zero-tannin fababean in feed, food, value-added processing and industrial applications
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