Higher Canola Meal Inclusions in Lactating Sow Diets Possible

CANADA - Research conducted by the University of Manitoba shows canola meal can be included in the diets of lactating sows at much higher levels than previously believed, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 3 March 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of a large scale project to evaluate the inclusion of canola meal in swine rations scientists with the University of Manitoba compared three diets fed to lactating sows, a control diet, a diet containing 15 per cent canola meal and a diet containing 30 per cent canola meal.

Dr Martin Nyachoti, a Professor in the Animal Science Department of the University of Manitoba, explains earlier studies looking at nursery pig diets showed canola meal could be included at much higher levels than previous believed and scientists wanted to know if the same held true for lactating sows.

Dr Martin Nyachoti-University of Manitoba

We looked sow parameters so we looked at body weight changes, backfat changes, we looked at milk composition, feed intake of sows and we looked at weaning to estrus interval to look at how long it takes the sow to get back to heat.

We also looked at litter performance, so number of piglets born alive, number of piglets weaned, litter weight and things like that.

What was really interesting in this trial is that, among the three diets, in all the parameters that we looked at, so that is feed intake of the sows, body weight changes in the sows, backfat changes, milk composition, piglet performance parameters, all those parameters were similar in all three treatments.

Even the sows that were fed diets containing 30 per cent canola meal performed similarly to those that were fed the control diet.

Dr Nyachoti says the significance is that canola meal, which is an important dietary supplement here in western Canada and the second most widely used protein supplement globally, can be used at higher levels in place of some of the imported protein supplements.

He says, in that sense, it can allow us to mitigate feed costs by using locally produced feed ingredients.

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