ARS: Glycerin performs well in swine, poultry rations

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 09, 2009
Swine and poultry performed well on diets supplemented with crude glycerin according to research described in the April issue of Agricultural Research, the monthly publication of the USDA's Agriculture Research Service. Animal nutritionist Brian Kerr, who works at the ARS Swine Odor and Manure Management Research Unit in Ames, Iowa, partnered with Iowa State University colleague Kristjan Bregendahl and William Dozier, formerly in the ARS Poultry Research Unit at Mississippi State and now with Auburn University.

Kerr examined how crude glycerin affected swine energy use in the diets of starter pigs and finisher pigs. Pigs fed the crude glycerin were able to digest the feed supplement efficiently, and it provided them with a supply of caloric energy that basically equaled that of corn grain. A followup study showed no effects on weight, carcass composition and meat quality in pigs fed diets containing 5 percent or 10 percent crude glycerin from weaning to market weight.

In the poultry study, both layers and broilers were fed different levels of crude glycerin as part of the ration. No significant differences were found among the four groups in the feeding trail when comparing feed consumption, egg production and egg weight. Feeding studies with boilers showed similar positive results.

While the initial data indicates crude glycerin is an excellent source of energy and can be used without harming animal performance, there is more to learn such as how to handle glycerin in the feed mill and possible limiting factors from residual methanol and salts left in the glycerin after biodiesel production. The read the article and others from the ARS April issue of Agricultural Research visit
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