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Non-GMO wheat as a partial alternative to corn in growing-finishing pigs

Non-genetically modified (non-GMO) wheat can partially replace corn in growing-finishing pigs with no negative effects.

Thursday 11 April 2019 (11 days ago)
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Animal production is in continuous development. In the field of animal nutrition, research is motivated by the search for cheaper alternatives and safer ingredients. For example, in the case of energy sources and in order to replace a certain amount of maize in the diet, the use of non-genetically modified wheat (non-GMO) could be profitable as an alternative ingredient of low cost and safety. With that objective, the purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of dietary non-GMO wheat-based diets on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, fecal score, blood profile and meat quality of grower-finisher pigs. A total of 70 [(Landrace × Yorkshire) × Duroc] growing pigs with an initial body weight of 26.2 ± 1.57 kg were used in a 112-day study. The piglets were allotted into one of two dietary treatments: (1) CD, consisting on a corn-based diet; or (2) WD, consisting on a non-genetically modified organism wheat-based diet (completely wheat based diet). The trial was carried out with 7 replicate pens per treatment and 5 pigs per pen.

As a result, the pigs fed with the corn-based diet had a higher body weight than pigs fed with the non-GMO wheat-based diet, both at days 21 (38.93 kg and 38.32 kg, for CD pigs and WD pigs, respectively) and 77 (81.54 kg and 79.54 kg, for CD pigs and WD pigs, respectively). Initially, a slight significance was observed in the average daily gain (ADG) of the pigs during the first 21 days of dietary treatment (0.61 kg and 0.58 kg, for CD pigs and WD pigs, respectively), but there was no difference in overall ADG at the end of the trial. As for the blood profile, no significant effects were observed between treatments on protein, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine and glucose.

In conclusion, non-GMO wheat-based diet had no significant impact on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile and meat quality of pigs during the grower-finisher period, appearing to be a viable possible alternative to conversional corn-based diets in growing-finishing pigs.

Wang, H., Lee, D., Jung, H., & Kim, I. (2018). Effects of non-genetically modified organism wheat on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile and meat quality in grower-finisher pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 96(suppl_3), 316-317. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky404.696

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