Feeding growing-finishing pigs supplemental fat is a common practice in the swine industry and can result in improved feed efficiency and reduced feed intake; however, dietary lipids also play a key role in determining pork composition. The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the effects of feeding graded levels of high oleic soybean oil (HOSO) on growth performance and carcass characteristics. A total of 288 pigs raised in two separate blocks (144 pigs each) were assigned to one of four diets containing either 25% dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS), 2% high oleic soybean oil (HOSO2), 4% high oleic soybean oil (HOSO4), or 6% high oleic soybean oil (HOSO6). Pigs were housed 4 per pen and fed for 98 d using a 3-phase feeding system. Pigs were individually weighed and feed intake was recorded throughout the trial to calculate average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain to feed ratio (G:F). A total of 144 pigs were transported to the University of Illinois Meat Science Laboratory and fabricated into primal and subprimal cuts to calculate carcass cutting yields. Differences in growth performance were observed, with pigs fed the DDGS treatment exhibiting greater (P ≤ 0.01) overall ADFI consuming 0.21, 0.18, and 0.28 kg/d more than HOSO2, HOSO4, and HOSO6 diets, respectively. Pigs fed the HOSO6 diet had greater (P ≤ 0.03) overall G:F than pigs fed DDGS and HOSO2 diets but did not differ (P = 0.12) from pigs fed HOSO4. Furthermore, differences in carcass traits were observed. Hot carcass weight was increased (P ≤ 0.03) in pigs fed the HOSO6 diet compared with pigs fed the DDGS and HOSO2 diets, while pigs fed HOSO4 did not differ (P > 0.05) from either extreme. Additionally, pigs fed HOSO4 and HOSO6 produced fatter (P ≤ 0.01) carcasses with reduced (P ≤ 0.01) standardized fat-free lean. Minimal differences were observed in primal weights expressed as a percentage of chilled side including bone-in Boston butt, trimmed loin, and trimmed ham with primal weights decreasing with increasing inclusion of dietary HOSO.
Overall, pigs fed HOSO2 had reduced ADFI with similar backfat thickness and standardized fat-free lean compared with pigs fed the DDGS treatment. However, pigs fed HOSO 4% and 6% not only had improvements in ADFI and G:F but also had increased backfat thickness, which resulted in reductions in standardized fat-free lean and primal weights expressed as a percentage of chilled side weight.