Experiments show benefits alternative pig feed
Lentils and flaxseeds can be used as alternative
ingredients for diversifying pig diets, according to experiments done by the
Prairie Swine Centre, based in Saskatoon, Canada.
The pork industry is continually seeking alternative ingredients for use in
pig diets, either as a means of diversifying rations -and thus reducing cost- or
to achieve a final pork product that meets certain
in two lentil samples - a blend of brown, yellow and red lentils and frozen lentils
- showed that they are an appreciable ingredient for the pig, with a
nutritional value slightly lower than that of peas.
This means that the rate of
inclusion in the diet of growing-finishing pigs will probably not exceed 20% of
The use of flaxseed, with its high content of
omega-3, is an interesting ingredient for pork producers who want to produce
omega-3 enriched pork by supplementing the diets with flaxseed.
experiment was carried out to evaluate the response of pigs to flax in their
diet. Growing pigs received a diet containing 0, 5, 10, 15 or 20% of flaxseed.
There was no adverse
impact of flaxseed inclusion on average daily gain, up to 15% inclusion.
The highest level of flaxseed inclusion tended to reduce growth
rate, something also observed at the highest canola oil inclusion.
the high flax diet was greater than that on the high canola oil diet. There
tended to be an increase in feed efficiency at the lower levels of oil
inclusion, whether from flaxseed or canola oil; however, only the canola oil
diets sustained this improvement at the highest levels of inclusion.
Lentils are grown primarily in Western
Canada for export and for human consumption. The part of the production that does not
meet the grade for export, is used by the feed industry.
belong to the pulse crop family and have a chemical composition quite similar to
that of peas, widely used in pig
Flaxseed, for its part,
possesses properties that make it unique as a feed ingredient, not the least of
which is a highly desirable fatty acid profile in the lipid
Possible future uses for flax
include the production of omega-3 fatty acid-enriched pork, the development of
alternatives to antimicrobial growth promoters and the enrichment of sow diets
for essential fatty acids.
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