Research Shows Rye Can Be Effectively Included In Swine Rations

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Farmscape for May 6, 2021

Full Interview 9:03 Listen

Feeding trials conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Centre show a new more ergot resistant variety of rye can be included in the rations of swine, as long as the energy content of the diet remains high. Researchers with the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Center are conducting feeding trials using a new high yielding hybrid variety of rye developed in Germany that’s less suspectable to ergot. The growth rates of pigs fed typical corn-based or wheat-barley based diets were compared to pigs fed diets which included 40 per cent rye. Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor with the University of Saskatchewan and an Adjunct Research Scientist, Nutrition with the Prairie Swine Center, says, as long as the energy content of the ration remained high, there was no difference in growth, no difference in feed intake, body weight or carcass composition, but with the low energy rye-based diet feed intake was reduced so growth rates were slowed.

Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
We were really interested in how this specific fibre composition might affect feed intake. There have been two or three other studies conducted that showed that pigs fed diets with up to 40 to 50 percent rye did really well but when we did some work a couple of years ago there was an indication that, when the diets contained a little bit less energy, then those with high rye didn’t do quite as well.
Typically, what happens if we feed pigs diets that are lower in energy, the pig will just eat more. They’ll compensate for the low energy and we had an indication in one of our experiments that this wasn’t happening so this experiment was designed specifically to test that hypothesis.

Dr. Beaulieu says the take home message to producers would be that the pigs will do fine with 40 to 50 percent rye in the diet but the diets have to be formulated maintaining this higher energy composition.

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