Farmscape for May 8, 2023
A swine nutritionist with the University of Saskatchewan says pea starch, produced as a byproduct of the pea processing industry, offers an excellent source of energy for pigs.
In response to an increased availability of pea starch, researchers with the University of Saskatchewan in partnership with the Prairie Swine Center and the Canadian Feed Research Centre in North Battleford have been evaluating the inclusion of pea starch in swine diets.
Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor Monogastric Nutrition with the University of Saskatchewan, says, because the particle size is so small, it does not flow well through feeding systems and there is evidence that the small particle size also raises the risk of ulcers in the pigs.
Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
We've conducted feeding experiments just to see how much we can put in the diet and how well the pigs do.
We've added up to 40 percent in the diets and we have found, if we can manage that flow issue, if we can get it flowing through our feeders so we did some where we tried to feed it in a mash.
We didn't want to pellet the diets because that would change the chemistry a little bit so we wanted to look at it without pelleting and we couldn't do it.
It just does not flow at all so we had to pellet the diets.
With pelleted diets, going up to 40 percent pea starch in our diets, those pigs did incredibly.
They grew really well, great feed efficiency.
When we did take them to slaughter, we did see some evidence of ulcers in their stomachs and this was across the board regardless of how much pea starch we had in the diet but it didn't see to affect them.
They still seemed to grow really well so we tried to look more into that fact.
We've also done some experiments looking at processing of it, pelleting of it.
That work has been done at the CFRC, so some ways of getting around the flow issue in the barn.
Dr. Beaulieu says the work has shown we can feed pea starch and the pigs grow really well so now it's a matter of looking in more detail at some of the other aspects.
She says within the next year or so there should be a lot more results to share.
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