A candy coproduct could be an economical alternative to partly replace the use of lactose in nursery pigs, American scientists write.
The experiment investigated the effects of Chocolate Candy Feed, manufactured by International Ingredient Corporation, St Louis, MO, USA, which could be seen as an alternative carbohydrate source to dietary lactose, on growth performance and on health status of nursery pigs.
The scientists conclude that the “candy coproduct can be used to replace up to 45% of dietary lactose for nursery pigs without negative effects on growth performance or health status.”
The test was done at Smithfield Premium Genetics, located in Rose Hill, NC, United States. In total, 1,408 crossbred pigs of 21 days old and on average 7.1 kg body weight were involved and were randomly assigned to four treatments (16 pens/treatment and 22 pigs/pen) in a randomised complete block design: 0, 15, 30, and 45% of lactose replaced by the candy coproduct based on equal amounts of total sugars.
The experimental period was divided into three phases:
The duration of phase I tended to linearly decrease with increasing the candy coproduct. In phase I, the average daily feed intake (ADFI) increased with increasing the candy coproduct whereas average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) did not change.
In phase II, the duration and ADFI did not change whereas ADG linearly decreased with increasing the candy coproduct. However, the FCR was not changed as the candy coproduct increased.
During phase I and II together, the duration was linearly decreased as the candy coproduct increased, whereas no difference in growth performance was observed.
Overall, ADFI, ADG, and FCR were not affected by replacing whey permeate with the candy coproduct in diets, indicating no adverse effects of the candy coproduct as a carbohydrate substitute to lactose on growth performance of nursery pigs.
Blood urea nitrogen levels did not change in phase I but tended to linearly increase in phase II as the candy coproduct increased. There were no differences in faecal scores and mortality as the candy coproduct increased. However, increasing the candy coproduct tended to linearly decrease morbidity, which implies no adverse effects of a candy coproduct replacement on health status of nursery pigs.