Oats in Swine Rations

Published Feb 1, 2004

Oats has long been an important ration ingredient for small pigs, where the fiber helps prevent diarrhea. However, the high fiber in oats reduces the energy density to about 80 percent that of corn. But oat prices are usually a fraction of those for corn, so the question is “Do oats have a place in the finishing ration?” From 2001 to 2003 three PFI cooperators compared rations with and without oats or containing different levels of oats.

In each case, adding oats to the ration decreased the return after feed cost, even if the cost of oats was set at zero. You would expect that if the oats were cheap enough, the value of pigs on the oat ration would equal that of pigs on the no-oat ration. That is the clear message in ISU Extension bulletin PM-1994, Feeding Small Grains to Swine.