Prairie Swine Centre

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Leterme, Pascal
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Country: Canada


The Nutrition program is basically focused on the evaluation of the quality of ingredients used in swine nutrition and produced in Western Canada. Particular attention is paid to pulses.

A study, funded by the Flax Council, was completed on the nutritional value of whole flaxseed and showed that the latter can be incorporated at a rate of 15% in the pig diet. The main interest of flaxseed lies in its content in essential fatty acids that can be incorporated in the lipid fraction of the carcasses.

Another study, ordered by the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, is currently conducted on lentils. The latter are normally for the human market but it is estimated that 10% of the production, that’s to say 80.000 t, are downgraded every year and used by the feed industry. Virtually no information on their value in pig exists and the study will bring some basic data on digestible energy and protein.

A main research program started recently on the use of field peas in swine nutrition. Peas have become a major local ingredient recently, with 3.7 million metric tonnes produced in 2004. However, the information available is limited to growing pigs and most of the research was conducted in Europe. The new program will study the nutritional value of a large number of pea samples collected throughout the Prairie and will be carried out on piglets, growing pigs and sows. To our knowledge, this will be the first significant study on sows. The interest of the latter study lies on the fact that large animals are able to better digest fibrous diets such as peas than small ones and a significant increase in nutritional value of peas in sows might be expected. Hence, new specific tables of nutritional value are currently developed in Europe for sows. The program will also look at the possibility of improving the nutritional value and reduce the variability of the latter through processing (grinding and pelletizing). The whole program will be subsidized by the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and the Alberta Pulse Growers.

A new research project has been approved for funding by the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission and the Canadian Canola Council to study the net energy value of canola meal and full-fat canola seeds. The net energy system is more adapted to ingredients with high levels of protein and dietary fibre –as it is the case in canola- than the digestible energy system. Due to an increasing demand in biodiesel, the production of canola is expected to grow in the next coming years and the use of canola by-products in swine nutrition will depend on our ability to estimate their real nutritional value for these animals. On the other hand, important breeding programs has allowed the development of canola seeds with very low levels of toxic or antinutritional factors and the use of whole canola seeds is now possible. Since they contain high levels of oil, their use as a valuable energy source can be envisaged. Our research program will provide original and valuable information on that new ingredient.

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