RESEARCH REPORT: Finishing Hogs on Small Grains
At two conferences Tom Frantzen spoke at over the winter, there was much interest in finishing hogs on something other than corn. Small grains take longer to digest and have a lower energy concentration than corn, but provide improved GI health, lower the incidence of ulcers, and contribute to firmer carcass fat. Small grains are often part of organic crop rotations, providing a viable feed alternative for some livestock farmers.
Tom compared finishing hogs on corn-based and small grain-based diets to quantify the differences in finishing time, feed consumption, gain, and carcass quality. The small grain diet fed was a mixture of oat, wheat, and barley.
The study found that feeding small grains produced comparable finished carcasses to corn-fed hogs. At at PFI field day last fall, we tasted both the small grain-fed and corn-fed pork – the flavors varied greatly! Read more about the pork tasting field day here and the research report here.