Small-scale farmers in the rural areas of South Africa do not have milling and mixing facilities at their disposal. A study was conducted to quantify the production as well as the energy and nitrogen metabolism of pigs when fed a balanced whole-grain mixture of milled diet composed of a wheat/barley mixture as grain source. The whole-grain mixture was prepared with the use of minimal mechanical equipment and ingredients were bound to the grain by molasses. Growing pigs (28 â€“ 89 kg) consumed 7.8% or less feed per day, grew 11.2% slower and had a 10% poorer feed conversion ratio when fed a barley plus wheat-containing whole-grain diet compared to the milled diet. Energy and nitrogen metabolism data similarly revealed 5.9% higher DM digestibility and a 6.6% higher digestible energy value for the milled diet. Possible production losses therefore hat to be counterbalanced against the price of commercially produced meal or the cost of the ability to process the grain.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher