Challenges in Using Alternative Feed Ingredients

by 5m Editor
7 January 2011, at 8:16am

CANADA - A swine nutritionist with the University of Manitoba says variability in nutrient composition is the biggest challenge when incorporating alternative feed ingredients into swine rations, Bruce Cochrane writes.

With the cost of the more traditional feed ingredients for swine on the rise pork producers will be considering a range of alternatives such as dried distillers grains with solubles, faba bean or other pulse crops or various extruded or processed products to reduce costs.

University of Manitoba animal science professor Dr Martin Nyachoti suggests these opportunity ingredients can make the difference between surviving these high feed prices and not surviving at all.

Dr Martin Nyachoti-University of Manitoba

I think variability in terms of nutrient composition for most of the ingredients creates a lot of problems because, unless you have a consistent product, then it means you have to keep changing your formulation all the time which is a pain to deal with and sometime some of the co-products are variable.

They vary from plant to plant or source to source and that creates those problems in terms of being consistent and being sure that you're formulating your diets properly.

The other issues that might be associated with these opportunity feed ingredients is being sure that you can always get it when you need it so that you can stay consistent with your formulation, understanding a little bit about nutrient content and how much of those nutrients are available to the pig so that you can formulate the diets properly and whether or not they contain some components that might limit the utilization by pigs, so things such as anti-nutritional factors, high fibre content which limits the utilization of energy in feeds generally by swine or the presence of mycotoxins that might also lead to problems in pigs being able to consume the diet or being able to grow properly if they're fed high mycotoxin diets.

Dr Nyachoti says, as the cost of traditional ingredients continues to rise, there is definitely a need to look at alternative sources that can be used to formulate pig diets.

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