Triticale Triumphs in Weaned Pig Diets

by 5m Editor
15 January 2008, at 10:31am

CANADA - Nutritional research on the use of triticale in weaner diets has found that the hybrid cereal may offer performance advantages, cost savings and environmental benefits during the latter end of nursery production.

The studies, conducted by scientists Omogbenigun and Beltranena of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD); Zijlstra of the University of Alberta Department Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Sciences; and Salmon or AAFRD Crop Development, Lacombe, Alberta, show that diets including tricale can help improve feed efficiency and absorption of key nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus.

Two hundred and eighty eight crossbred piglets were used in the 28 day growth performance and digestibility trial. The aims was to determine the effect of the dietary replacement of either CPS or HRS wheat with Western Canadian triticale varieties in nursery diets for weaner pigs.
The varieties used were:

  • AC Ultima
  • Pronghorn
  • Bobcat
  • Pika

Weaned pigs (28 days of age) were randomly allocated to pens based on their liveweight, sex and litter of origin. Pigs were fed the test diets ad libitum. Individual pigs were weighed weekly and faecal grab samples were collected on days 25 to 27 of the study.

Efficiency factors

For the first three weeks and the overall trial, average daily feed intake and average daily gain were similar among dietary treatments. But for the last week of study, pigs offered the wheat diets consumed more feed than those fed the triticale diets.

However, pigs fed the triticale diets had better overall feed efficiency than those fed wheat diets. Nutrient digestibility was improved in pigs fed CPS compared to HRS wheat. Digestibility of protein, calcium and phosphorus was also greater in pigs fed triticale diets compared to those fed wheat diets.


The results of this study are significant.
  1. They indicate that any of the four triticale varieties may substitute CPS or HRS wheat in late nursery diets without adverse effect on pig performance.
  2. Feeding triticale to weaned pigs may also lower feed cost due to improved nutrient digestibility and retention.
  3. Improved feed conversion efficiency combined with higher grain yield of triticale compared to wheat implies more pork produced per unit of land.
Reference: Advances in Pork Production (2007) Volume 18, Abstract A-20

5m Editor