Research provides nutritional data on oilseed products for swine producers wanting diversified, economical diets.
OILSEED meals are commonly fed to pigs and poultry as sources of protein. The concentration and digestibility of amino acids in oilseed meals has been studied, but these ingredients supply other nutrients in the diet, as well.
After conducting several evaluations, researchers at the University of Illinois have determined a more complete picture of the nutritional value of oilseed meals.
A team led by Hans H. Stein, a University of Illinois animal sciences professor, evaluated canola seeds, canola meal, cottonseed meal, sunflower seeds and two types of sunflower meal.
The researchers conducted two experiments with growing pigs. In the first, they determined the digestible and metabolizable energy of each ingredient, and in the second, they determined the standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus with and without the addition of microbial phytase.
"From these results, we conclude that it is possible to include a number of different oilseed products in diets fed to pigs to meet the requirements for digestible phosphorus and energy," Stein said. "The current data provide feed formulators, nutritionists and swine producers with the data needed to include different oilseed products in diets fed to pigs. Which ingredients are most economical to include in diets depend on local availability and cost."
Stein's team found that the concentration of digestible energy in sunflower seeds and canola seeds — at 6,105 kcal and 5,375 kcal/kg of dry matter (DM), respectively — was greater than in soybean meal and corn — at 4,518 kcal and 4,040 kcal/kg DM, respectively. Canola meal, sunflower meal, dehulled sunflower meal and cottonseed meal contained less digestible energy — 3,652, 3,238, 3,095 and 3,016 kcal/kg DM, respectively — than soybean meal or corn.
Metabolizable energy values followed the same pattern: 5,739 kcal/kg DM in sunflower seeds, 5,098 kcal/kg DM in canola seeds, 4,035 kcal/kg DM in soybean meal, 3,942 kcal/kg DM in corn, 3,306 kcal/kg DM in canola meal, 2,998 kcal/kg DM in sunflower meal, 2,860 kcal/kg DM in dehulled sunflower meal and 2,700 kcal/kg DM in cottonseed meal.
With no phytase added to the diets, the standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus ranged from as little as 37.4% in sunflower meal to 62% in soybean meal. Phosphorus digestibility for sunflower seeds and canola meal did not differ from soybean meal, but the value for all other ingredients was less than for soybean meal.
The standardized total tract digestibility of phosphorus in all ingredients improved when phytase was added to the diets, ranging from 54.9% in dehulled sunflower meal to 74.6% in canola meal and 78% in soybean meal.
"If phytase is added to the diets, the digestibility of phosphorus in canola seeds, canola meal and sunflower seeds is not different from the digestibility in soybean meal, but the digestibility of phosphorus in the other ingredients is less than in soybean meal," Stein explained.
The study, "Energy Concentration & Phosphorus Digestibility in Canola, Cottonseed & Sunflower Products Fed to Growing Pigs," was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science.