animal Science Research Report AL73-1 Florida Agricultural
February, 1973 Experiment Station
UTILIZATION OF HIGH DIETARY LEVELS OF CANE MOLASSES
BY YOUNG AND BY GROWING-FINISHING SWINE -/
G. E. Combs and H. D. Wallace /
Molasses produced from sugar cane grown on organic soils will analyze in
excess of 6% protein. Previous studies -' at Florida utilized molasses only as
an energy feed and ignored protein content in diet formulation.
The present study was conducted to evaluate high levels of cane molasses
when the protein in molasses was used in the formulation to meet part of the
Two experiments were conducted with pigs housed in concrete-floored pens.
Feed containing 0, 20 and 40% molasses was provided in self-feeders and the
60% molasses diet was available in open troughs. Diets containing 20, 40 and 60%
molasses were mixed in a horizontal mixer modified to mix high-density diets,
Water was supplied by automatic waterers. During the last week of each experiment
chromic oxide was added to all diets for determination of nutrient digestibility.
The composition of diets used in both experiments is presented in Table 1.
1/ Data in this article came from Experiment 174F
2/ Combs and Wallace, Animal Nutritionists, Animal Science Department, University
3/ An. Sci. Mimeo Series 69-13, 70-10 and 72-6.
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of
$148.98 or .14898cents per copy to inform county agricul-
tural directors, ranchers and growers of research results
in swine management and nutrition.
Department of Animal Science
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Experiment 1 Forty pigs weighing an average of 43 lbs. were allotted to
4 dietary treatments consisting of 0, 20, 40 and 60% molasses. The experiment
was terminated after 42 days.
Experiment 2 Twenty-eight pigs having an initial weight of about 149 lbs.
were fed diets containing 0, 20, 40 and 60% molasses for a period of 46 days.
Results and Discussion
The results of experiments 1 and 2 are summarized in Table 2.
In experiment 1 pigs fed 0 and 20% molasses gained significantly (P < .05)
faster than pigs fed 40 and 60% molasses diets. Pigs fed the two higher levels of
molasses also required about 25% more feed per unit of gain than those fed the
diets containing 0 and 20% molasses. Digestibility of the dry matter in the 0 and
20% molasses diets was significantly (P < .05) higher than the 40 and 60% molasses
treatments. Protein digestibility was highest (P < .05) with 20% molasses group but
in general digestibility decreased with increasing levels of dietary molasses. Sig-
nificant differences (P < .05) were also found with digestibility of fat but a molasses
level-fat digestibility trend was not evident.
The pigs in experiment 2 performed similar to those in experiment 1. Daily
gain decreased with the 40 and 60% molasses groups but the magnitude of the decrease
was not as great as found with the lighter weight pigs. Feed per pound of gain
was again about 25% more for the 40 and 60% molasses diets. Dry matter and protein
digestibility followed the same trend as in experiment 1 in that digestibility
of both items decreased with the 40 and 60% treatments. Fat digestibility again did
not appear to be associated with dietary molasses level.
A comparison of the results of this study with previous reports (Ani. Sci. Mimeo
Rept. 70-10 and 72-6) indicates that including the protein present in molasses as
part of the calculated amount present did not seriously affect performance of pigs
fed the 40% molasses diet. With 28 lb. pigs daily gain of the 40% molasses group
was reduced 18% when compared to the 0% molasses and in the present study the reduction
was only 13% for the 43 lb. pigs. With the heavier weight pigs in this study the reduc-
tion was 67. as compared to a 2% reduction and a 7% increase in previous studies where
0 and 40% molasses diets were fed.
With the 60% molasses diet the reduction for both light and heavy weight pigs was
about 20% in this study as compared to 10% for previous work. This is probably a re-
flection of the methionine and lysine deficiency present in this diet.
In certain economic situations the price of molasses may be such that it would
offset the reduction in rate and efficiency of gain found with 40 and 60% molasses
Two experiments involving 40 light weight pigs (43 lb.) and 28 finishing pigs
pigs (149 Ib) were conducted to evaluate performance when the protein in molasses
was considered in diet formulations.
Daily gain, feed efficiency and dry matter digestibility was comparable for
both weight groups when the 0 and 20% molasses diets were compared. Protein diges-
tibility was higher with 20% molasses diet for both young and finishing pigs.
Increasing the molasses to 40 and 60% of the diet resulted in significant de-
creases in rate and efficiency of gain. Also digestibility of dry matter and protein
was less than either the 0 or 20% molasses groups. In all instances the depression
was more severe for the 60% group than with the 40% group. This would indicate that
the major factor contributing to this decrease with the 60% molasses group was a
deficiency of lysine and methionine brought about by substituting molasses protein for
TABLE 1. COMPOSITION OF DIETS -
Cane molasses 0 20.00 40.00 60.00
Ground yellow corn 79.50 58.50 37.50 16.55
Soybean meal (50%) 15.70 16.70 17.70 18.65
Defluorinated phosphate 2.50 2.50 2.50 2.50
Salt 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
Trace mineral mix 2/ 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10
Vitamin-Antibiotic mix 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.80
1/ All diets calculated to contain 15% protein. Methionine
calculated deficient in all diets and magnitude of deficiency
increased with increasing levels of molasses. Lysine also
calculated deficient in 60% molasses diet.
2/ Provided the following (ppm); Mn, 57; Fed, 70; Cu, 48; Co,
1.6; K, 7.5 and Zn, 100.
3/ Contained 800, 1470, 3600, 4000 and 1 (mg) respectively of
riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, choline chloride and
vitamin B12; 138,000 I. U. vitamin A and 50,000 I.U. vitamin
D ; 5 gm procaine penicillin and 15 gm streptomycin for all
TABLE 2. PERFORMANCE OF PIGS FED HIGH
DIETARY LEVELS OF MOLASSES
Dietary Molasses % 0 20 40 60
Av. initial weight, lb. 43.2 43.5 43.4 43.8
Av. daily gain, lb. 1.42 1.43 1.24 1.17
Av. feed consumption, lb. 4.90 4.83 5.54 5.51
Av. feed/gain, lb. 3.45 3.38 4.47 4.71
Digestibility % a a b b
Dry Matter 76.5b 76.4 73.0 71.3b
Protein 63.6 68.2 62.2 60.3
Fat 47.1b 49.1 32.0 68.6
Av. initial weight, lb. 149.6 149.4 148.4 149.3
Av. daily gain, lb. 1.53 1.51 1.43 1.22
Av. feed consumption, lb. 6.36 6.78 7.83 6.91
Av. feed/gain, lb. 4.17 4.49 5.48 5.66
Dry Matter 78.8a 80.5a 74.6 73.
Protein 69.7b 74.6ab 66.0 64.9
Fat 51.9 59.9 30.6 68.7
abc Means on same line bearing different superscript letters differ
significantly (P < .05).