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Germination of faba beans (Vicia faba L.) for organic weaning piglets

Schwediauer, P., Hagmüller, W., Zollitsch, W.
Organic agriculture 2018 v.8 no.3 pp. 249-258
Vicia faba, body weight, crude protein, diarrhea, diet, digestibility, essential amino acids, faba beans, feed intake, feeder pigs, germination, lysine, nutritive value, organic production, palatability, peas, piglets, weaning, weight gain
Faba beans (Vicia faba L.) contain anti-nutritive compounds that can reduce digestibility and palatability. Germination has been reported to reduce some of those components. The effect of including germinated faba beans in their feed was tested on 160 weaner pigs that were assigned to one of four diets containing either 19% peas (RP19), 16% raw faba beans (RFB16), 16% germinated faba beans (GFB16) or 24% germinated faba beans (GFB24). Crude protein was slightly higher in germinated as compared to raw beans. Most of the essential amino acids decreased due to germination, their contents relative to lysine remained the same. There were no significant differences in live weight on days 8, 15 and 22. At the end of the trial (day 29), live weight of GFB24 was significantly reduced when compared to RP19 and RFB16, but not to GFB16. In week 4, daily weight gain of GFB24 was significantly lower than of all other treatments. There were no significant differences in feed intake between the treatments. It was possible to feed germinated faba bean in amounts up to 240 g kg FM⁻¹ without a reduction in feed intake or a higher incidence of diarrhoea, although live weight and daily weight gain were reduced. Under the circumstances of this study and considering the effort related to the process, germination cannot be recommended as a method to improve the nutritive value and acceptance of faba beans for feeding of weaner pigs.