Animal Husbandry and Nutrition
Mimeograph Series No. 60-14
February, 1960 ,
... OBSERVATIONS ON.GATOR RYE. AS A REPLACEMENT.FCR CORN.IN
..THE RATION. OF GROWING-FINISHING SWINE I/
R. B. Christmas, H. D. Wallace and G. E. Combs 2/
Rye grain has long been grown in Europe as a human food. The limited
amount grown in the United States has been used largely for the same pur-
pose. Rye is more resistant to certain diseases than other cereal grains
and is fairly well adapted to the sandy soils of this state. For these
reasons considerable interest has developed in the use of the crop for
winter grazing and seed production.
Rye is not widely used as a swine feed in this country, but a limited
amount of research has been conducted in this connection. Robison (Ohio
Agr. Expt. Sta.'Bul. 607, 1939) reported that rye had 92% of the feeding
value of corn for growing-finishing pigs. The pigs fed rye gained slower
and less efficiently. Ground rye was utilized better than the whole'grain.
This worker did not recommend rye for the sow herd because the grain is
oftentimes contaminated with ergot which may cause abortion.
Chapman et al. (Fla. Agr. Expt, Sta. Cir. S-94, 1956) introduced Gator
rye as a strain having a better combination of disease resistance than any
variety of rye then being grown in Florida. Gator rye is also considered
one of the better varieties from the standpoint of forage and grain pro-
The experiment reported here was designed to determine the feeding
value of Gator Rye grain for growing-finishing pigs when the rye replaced
a part or all of the corn in the ration.
Fifteen weanling pigs of mixed breeding were randomly-allotted to three
treatment groups of five pigs each according to weight, breeding and sex.
The rations-presented in Table I were self fed on concrete. Laboratory
analysis indicated that the rye grain contained 15.7 percent crude protein
which is quite high for a grain. There was no evidence of ergot'contami-
nation. The experiment was initiated September 26, 1959 and terminated
December 12, '1959.
I7 The rye was furnished through the courtesy of Mr. H. W. Q,--o .e
Suwannee Valley Experiment Station, Live Oak, Florida. C'e
/ Christmas, Wallace and Combs; Interim Assistant in An mi Hbandry, '
Associate Animal Husbandman and Assistant Animal Hus n man, respect ie'ly
Department of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition. The as i tance of,J. E.
Collins and L. S. Taylor, Swine Herdsmen, is grateful cknowlead /
Table I. COMPOSITION OF EXPERIMENTAL RATIONS
Lot Number I 2 3
Ground yellow corn 78.50 41.25 --
Ground Gator rye --- 41.25 85.90
Soybean oilmeal (50%) 18.70 14.70 10.30
Ground limestone 1.00 1.00 I.00
Steamed bonemeal 1.00 1.00 1.00.
Iodized salt 0.50 0.50 0.50-
Trace minerals I/ 0.05 0.05 0.05
Vitamin supplement 2/ 0.10 0.10 0.10
Vitamin B12 supplement 3/ 0.05 0.05 0.05
Antibiotic supplement 4/ 0.10 0.10 0.10
- Supplied th.e following to the ration in p.p.m.: Manganese.-- 30;
Iron -- 36.5; Copper -- 2.5; Cobalt -- 0.83; Potassium -- 3.9
and Zinc -- 42.
/ Charles Pfizer Vitamin Supplement No. 2. Contains 4,000 mg. Ribo-
flavin; 4,000 mg. Pantothenic Acid, 24,000 mg. Niacin and 104,000
mg. Choline Chloride per pound.
3/ Charles Pfizer BI2 Supplement (9+). Contains 9 mg. BI2 per pound.
SAmerican Cyanamid Aurofac IO-A.. Contains 10 gm., Chlortetracycline
Results and Discussion
Results of the experiment are summarized in Table 2. Performance
data are presented for the first 23 days, the last 49 days and for the
entire feeding period. The inclusion of rye in the feed mixture (Lots
2 and 3) resulted in a marked reduction in gains. This slowing of gain
was particularly evident during the first four weeks of the trial. Pigs
fed the ration containing a mixture of corn and rye (Lot.2) gained much
better than pigs fed only rye (Lot 3). Rate of gain tended to increase
comparatively in the rye lots as the pigs became larger and accustomed
to the feed. The rations containing rye, as judged by feed intake data,
appeared to be less palatable to the pigs, especially in the early phase
of the study. Feed efficiencies, expressed in terms of the pounds of
feed required per pound of gain, for the entire feeding period were 2.92,
3.16 and 3.20 for lots 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Thus the amount of
total feed required per unit of gain increased with the addition of rye
to the ration.
Table 2. SUMMARY OF PERFORMANCE OF PIGS FED
RATIONS CONTAINING GATOR RYE GRAIN
AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR CORN
Amount of Corn
Replaced by Rye
(percent) 0 50 100
Lot number I 2 3
Number of pigs 5 5 5
Av. initial wt., lb. 36,0 36.0 36.0
Av. final wt., lb. 151.6 142.8 120.6
Days on experiment 77 77 77
Av. daily gain, lb.
First 28 days 1.35* 1.11 0.84
Last 49 days 1.59* 1.54* 1.24
Entire period I.50* 1.39* 1.10
Av. daily feed intake, lb.
First 28 days 3.67 3.16 2.62
Lest 49 days 4.78 5.09 4.03
Entire period 4.38 4.38 3.52
Feed required per lb. gain, lb.
First 28 days 2.72 2.83 3.11
Last 49 days 3.01 3.30 3.24
Entire period 2.92 3.16 3.20
Significantly greater than lot 3 ( P / .05)
Fifteen weanling pigs were used to determine the corn replacement
value of Gator rye grain for growing-finishing swine.
Gains were slowed and more feed was required per unit of gain when
rye replaced either one-half or all of the corn in the ration. The over-
all performance of pigs fed a ration containing a grain mixture of one-
half corn and one-half rye was satisfactory but not as good as for pigs
fed all corn.
The results of this trial would suggest that Gator rye grain may
be used as a feed for growing-finishing swine. However, it should be fed
in restricted quantities and should not supply more than one-half of the
grain portion of the ration and preferably less than one-half. For young
pigs (30-75 Ib.), one-fourth of the grain portion, or less, would appear
more appropriate. It is not recommended that rye be used in the ration
of the breeding herd.