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Eat Cake and Cut Costs, says Nutritionist

by 5m Editor
6 February 2008, at 1:08pm

ILLINOIS - If soybean and corn-based feeds get too expensive, livestock producers can always turn to leftovers, says Hans Stein, a University of Illinois Extension swine nutritionist.

Speaking during the Illinois Pork Expo at the Peoria Civic Centre, he has urged pig producers to consider alternative food sources for their stock. And, according to the PJ Star, it's not all about distillers dried grains, a by-product of the ethanol industry, he says.

These materials are becoming more available to Illinois's livestock producers and up to 20 percent DDGs can be included in hogs diets, said Mr Stein. However, in some cases, as much as 30 to 40 percent can be included, although there is little research to prove it yet.

But ethanol plants aren't the only alternative supplier. Feed waste from other industries, such as a bread and cookie plants can also make good swine feed.

"Some plants will almost give away these products. "You can formulate a diet that's 20 to 30 percent bread for hogs," he said.

He quoted a baker in St. Louis who offered two truckloads of bread a week free to anyone who could collect it. And this is the kind of raw material sources that Midwestern livestock producers need to learn to use.

Livestock producers in the Midwest have been resistant to change from corn and soybean meal as the chief feed ingredients, but high grain prices are probably here to stay and producers should be prepared to make an upfront investment to handle different kinds of feed, said Stein.

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5m Editor