Hemp Seed Meal as an Alternative Protein Source in Growing Pigs Diet: a Pilot Study

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The overall goal of this pilot project was to assess the nutritional adequacy of hemp seed meal (HSM) for growing pigs. The objectives were to test the hypotheses that 1) voluntary feed intake in growing pigs fed diets containing 10 and 15% HSM will not differ compared to growing pigs fed diets containing soybean bean (SBM) as the main protein feed ingredient and 2) whole tract crude protein (CP) digestibility of a diet containing 10% HSM fed to growing pigs will not differ compared to pigs fed a diet containing SBM as the main protein feed ingredient. In the first study, six 54-kg barrows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were allocated to a repeated 3 x 3 Latin square design with 3 diets, 0% HSM (control), 10 and 15% HSM, and 3 periods. Feed intake did not differ between the HSM containing diets and control. Compared to control, ADG (1.35 kg/d) and gain:feed ratio (0.650) in pigs fed the 10% HSM diet did not differ and was greater (P < 0.05) compared to pigs fed 15% HSM (0.97 kg/d and 0.470). Compared to control, pigs fed the 15% HSM diet tended (P ≤ 0.1) to have a lower ADG and gain:feed ratio (0.470). The results show that pigs voluntarily accept diets containing HSM at an inclusion rate of 15% but have reduced growth performance compared to pigs fed diets containing 10% HSM or 0% HSM. In the second study, eight 73-kg barrows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were allocated to a randomized complete block design with 2 diets containing 0 and 10% HSM, and 2 blocks [light body weight (BW) and heavy BW]. Whole tract CP digestibility was determined using the indicator method and Cr2O3 as the inert marker. Whole tract CP digestibility between 10% HSM and control diets did not differ, with digestibility values of 75.15 and 76.21%, respectively. Additionally, initial and final BW, daily feed intake, daily gain, and gain:feed ratio did not differ between 10% HSM and control diets. The results of this studies indicate that growing pigs accept diets containing HSM up to 15% with no change in their voluntary feed intake and that HSM included at 10% does not impact whole tract CP digestibility of the diet, compared to conventional diets containing SBM as the main protein ingredient source.

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Trottier, Nathalie

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