Have you ever heard about former foodstuff products (FFPs)? The FFPs could be potential feed ingredients for pigs to mitigate the worldwide pressure of food-feed competition while reaching the nutritional requirements of the animals.
The global population growth and urbanization will require 70% more food production to sustain such a huge population. Accordingly, one of the biggest concerns in pig production is the competition for natural resources between human food and animal feed. In our study, the target group of animals is lactating sows who require a considerable amount of nutrients and energy to maintain milk yield and quality.
Consequently, the lactation period is critical and metabolically demanding. When the dietary requirements are not fulfilled, negative influences on the sows themselves and their litters may occur successively. Taking everything into account, FFPs possess a great potential to substitute traditional feed ingredients such as barley and wheat from nutritional (rich in sugar, fat, and energy), safety, and functional points of view, meanwhile, creating a circular economy and enhancing sustainability in pig production by retaining food losses in the food chain.
However, FFPs are generally rich in saturated fatty acids and lack omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are known to contribute to the normal growth and immunity development of piglets. This feature of FFPs may affect piglet performance undesirably. We aim to investigate the possibility of partially substituting classic feedstuffs in sow’s lactation diet with the selected FFPs, former biscuits, and their effects on the performance of sows and their litters as well as milk composition and quality.
We have demonstrated the potential to introduce FFPs into lactating sow’s diet without detrimental effects on sow performance. However, it did retard piglet growth. Hence, our recommendation is to reduce the inclusion level. By doing this, the feed intake of sows and piglet performance could be stably maintained. Additionally, further studies monitoring litter performance until fattening and even slaughter are of interest to see if there would be compensatory growth or alterations in meat quality or not.