Feeding low-oligosaccharide soybean meal to pigs
Soybean meal (SBM) is used as the major source of supplemental protein in the livestock industry mainly due to its excellent nutrient profile, dependable supply, and lower cost. However, the oligosaccharide content of SBM is believed by some nutritionists to affect the growth performance and health of early-weaned pigs. These oligosaccharides, raffinose and stachyose, are heat-stable components of soybean and cannot be removed by meal processing. Raffinose and stachyose can resist digestion in monogastic animals due to the lack of enzyme α-galactosidase. These oligosaccharides increase the viscosity of intestinal content and digesta transit time, which subsequently leads to poor digestion and absorption of nutrients. Soybean meal produced from a new variety of soybean with a low amount of oligosaccharide and greater crude protein, lysine, and other essential amino acids has been used in several studies with varied results. Removal of oligosaccharides from SBM was shown to increase the metabolizable energy (ME) content in roosters. In comparison with conventional SBM, low-oligosaccharide soybean meal (LOSBM) was shown to have a greater concentration of digestible amino acids for weanling piglets, but did not affect piglet growth performance when diets were formulated to contain similar quantities of ME and standardized ileal digestible (SID) lysine: ME ratio. With limited data on the effects of LOSBM on pig performance, it was the objective of this study to evaluate the effect of LOSBM for wean-to-finish pigs. A total of 432 crossbred pigs 19 days old and weighing about 6.6 kg were utilized in this experiment. The results of this 130-day study showed that pig growth performance (average daily gains, feed intake and feed efficiencies) and carcass traits (hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, back fat depth, loin depth, and lean percentage) were not affected (P › 0.05) by dietary treatments. The researchers concluded that reducing oligosaccharides in the diet of pigs by replacing the conventional soybean meal with a low-oligosaccharide soybean meal during the wean-to-finishing feeding period did not improve growth performance and carcass characteristics of pigs.