Feeding corn germ to pigs does not affect growth performance

Apr 01, 2013

Inclusion of corn germ in swine diets can reduce diet costs, depending on the local cost of corn germ and other ingredients. Recent research conducted at the University of Illinois indicates that corn germ can be included at up to 30 percent in diets fed to growing pigs.

"In previous research, we had seen that pigs do very well on diets containing 10 percent corn , so we wanted to investigate if higher inclusion rates can be used," said Hans Stein, professor of at Illinois.

The corn germ used in this study came from the ethanol, or dry grind, industry, and contained 16 to 18 percent fat. This product is different from the corn germ produced from the wet milling industry, which contains 30 to 40 percent fat.

Stein's team tested diets containing 0 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent, and 30 percent corn germ. They tested each inclusion level of corn germ in diets containing 30 percent dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as well as in diets containing no DDGS. They found no difference in growth performance, carcass composition, muscle quality, or backfat quality as increasing amounts of corn germ were added to the diets, regardless of the inclusion level of DDGS.

"The results of this work demonstrate that pig growth rate will not be changed by the inclusion of up to 30 percent corn germ in the diets, and feed conversion rate will not be changed," Stein said.

All diets contained the same amounts of energy, standardized ileal digestible indispensable amino acids, and digestible phosphorus. was not held constant across diets; the diets containing more corn germ also contained more fat. As a result, the bellies of pigs fed diets with no DDGS were softer as corn germ levels increased.

"Producers may have to reduce the inclusion rate during the final three to four weeks before slaughter," Stein concluded. There was no effect on belly firmness in fed diets containing DDGS.

Stein said that research on whether reducing the inclusion rate of corn germ in late-finishing diets would ameliorate the negative effects on belly quality might be warranted.

Explore further: DNA samples from fungi collections provide key to mushroom 'tree of life'

More information: The study, "Up to 30 percent corn germ may be included in diets fed to growing–finishing pigs without affecting pig growth performance, carcass composition, or pork fat quality," was published in the Journal of Animal Science and was co-authored with Jung Wook Lee, a Master's student in the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory at Illinois, and Floyd McKeith, professor of animal sciences at Illinois. The manuscript is available at journalofanimalscience.org/content/90/13/4933.full

Related Stories

Helping pigs to digest phosphorus

Jul 17, 2012

Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for pig growth, but pigs do not always digest it well. Research conducted at the University of Illinois has determined how adding various levels of the enzyme phytase to the diet improves how ...

Research sheds light on fat digestibility in pigs

Mar 07, 2011

Producers and feed companies add fat to swine diets to increase energy, but recent research from the University of Illinois suggests that measurements currently used for fat digestibility need to be updated.

Finding ways to feed pigs for less

Jun 07, 2012

Results of a preliminary experiment conducted at the University of Illinois indicate that it may be possible to select pigs that can make efficient use of energy in less expensive feed ingredients, thus reducing diet costs.

Recommended for you

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites

12 hours ago

Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America. The worms are thought to have caused or contributed to ...

An evolutionary heads-up—the brain size advantage

13 hours ago

A larger brain brings better cognitive performance. And so it seems only logical that a larger brain would offer a higher survival potential. In the course of evolution, large brains should therefore win ...

Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

May 21, 2015

Dogs' special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 21. Earlier genome ...

Social structure 'helps birds avoid a collision course'

May 21, 2015

The sight of skilful aerial manoeuvring by flocks of Greylag geese to avoid collisions with York's Millennium Bridge intrigued mathematical biologist Dr Jamie Wood. It raised the question of how birds collectively ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.