Triticale Fed to Finishing Pigs in Hoop Barns
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Effects of triticale-based diets on finishing pig performance in deep-bedded hoop barns were evaluated. Triticale is a synthetic small grain resulting from a cross between durum wheat and rye. The study consisted of eight trials: four in winter (October through March) and four in summer (April through September) at the ISU Western Research and Demonstration Farm, Castana, IA. Each trial consisted of six pens of ten pigs (five barrows, five gilts) in three small-scale hoop barns. Pens were randomly assigned one dietary treatment: 1) corn-soybean meal control, 2) 40% triticale diet (by weight) or 3) 80% triticale diet (by weight). The 40 and 80% triticale diets had corn and soybean meal added. Pigs had ad libitum access to feed and water during the study. Pigs were started on experiment at approximately 150–160 lb and fed for 49 d. At the end of each trial all pigs were scanned for backfat thickness and loin muscle area.
Pigs fed the corn-soy diet grew faster than pigs fed the 80% triticale diets. During summer, average daily feed intake was similar for all diets, but during the winter the pigs fed corn-soy ate less and those fed the 80% triticale diet ate more. The feed efficiency (lb of feed per lb of live weight gain) was best for the corn-soy diet and poorest for the 80% triticale diet. When the backfat and loin muscle area were adjusted to a standard live weight of 250 lb, backfat did not differ, but the pigs fed corn-soy diet had larger loin areas than the pigs fed 80% triticale diets. The calculated percentage of carcass lean was similar for all diets, but calculated lean gain per day was greatest for pigs fed the corn-soy diet. Based on these results, triticale inclusion rates of 30 to 50% of the total diet for finishing pigs may result in similar pig performance as corn-soy diets. Higher inclusion rates, approximately 80%, may result in slower gains, poorer feed efficiency, and smaller loin areas. However, triticale-based diets may be lower cost than corn-soy diets because less soy meal, dicalcium phosphate, and corn would be needed in the diet when triticale is added.