In commercial pig husbandry, initiation of feeding at weaning is critical. Therefore, feed appetite at weaning should be optimized by using highly palatable feedstuffs. The aim of the present work is to quantify the palatability of different protein, fat, and fiber sources in young pigs following three double-choice feeding experiments. Fifteen protein sources, 6 fat sources, and 3 fiber sources were evaluated in Exp. 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Pigs were offered a series of double choices between a common reference diet and the diet with the ingredient under evaluation. The reference diet contained a soybean meal product with 56% CP (SBM-56), sunflower oil, and wheat bran, which were considered as the feedstuffs of reference for the protein, fat, and fiber sources, respectively. Preference, expressed as percentage of the tested diet to total feed intake, was affected by feedstuff nature and by its inclusion rate.
In Exp. 1, feeds with fish meal at 50 and 100 g•kg−1, dried porcine hydrolyzed protein at 50 g•kg−1, and lupine, soybean meal with 44% CP, and dried skim milk at 100 g•kg−1 were preferred (P < 0.05) to the reference feed with SBM-56. On the contrary, relative to SBM-56, an avoidance (preference less than 50%) was observed for potato protein at all inclusion rates tested, rapeseed meal and acid milk whey at 100 and 200 g•kg−1, and dried porcine hydrolyzed protein, soybean protein concentrate, wheat gluten, and sunflower meal at 200 g•kg−1. The storage of dried skim milk, soybean protein concentrate, and potato protein for 10 mo resulted in a reduction (P < 0.001) of their preference values.
In Exp. 2, the feed with palm oil (at 30 g•kg−1) was preferred (P < 0.05), whereas feeds with linseed oil (at 30 and 100 g•kg−1) and soybean oil (at 100 g•kg−1) were avoided (P < 0.05) when contrasted with the reference feed with sunflower oil.
Finally, in Exp. 3 diets with dehydrated alfalfa and sugar beet pulp at 130 g•kg−1 had a reduced (P < 0.05) preference compared with the reference diet with wheat bran.
It is concluded that feedstuff nature, inclusion rate, and freshness affect feed preferences in pigs. Feedstuff preferences should be taken into account during diet formulation, particularly at critical stages such as immediately after weaning.
D Solà-Oriol, E Roura and D Torrallardona, 2011. Journal of Animal Science, 89: 3219-3227. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2011-3885