Effects of dietary inclusion of pea and faba bean as a replacement for soybean meal on grower and finisher pig performance and carcass quality

J Anim Sci. 2013 Aug;91(8):3733-41. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-6157. Epub 2013 May 8.


To reduce reliance on imported soybean meal (SBM) in temperate environments, pea and faba bean may be alternative protein sources for pig diets. We assessed the effects of dietary pea and faba bean inclusion on grower and finisher pig performance and carcass quality. There were 9 dietary treatments tested on both grower (30 to 60 kg) and finisher (60 to 100 kg) pigs in a dose response feeding trial. The control diet included SBM at 14 and 12% for grower and finisher pigs, respectively, whereas in the test diets, pea or faba bean were included at 7.5, 15, 22.5, and 30%, gradually and completely replacing SBM. Diets were formulated to be isoenergetic for NE and with the same standard ileal digestible Lys content. After a 1-wk adaptation period, each diet was available on an ad libitum basis to 4 pens of pigs with 4 pigs per pen (2 entire males and 2 females) for 4 wk. Weekly BW for individual pigs, and pen intakes were recorded to assess ADG, ADFI, and G:F. Finisher pigs were then slaughtered at a commercial slaughter house to record carcass quality and assess skatole and indole concentration in the backfat. There were no effects (P > 0.10) on grower ADG, ADFI, and G:F, but pulse inclusion reduced finisher ADG (P = 0.04), with a quadratic effect of pulse inclusion (P = 0.03), as ADG tended to be reduced over initial inclusion levels only. There were no associated effects (P > 0.10) on ADFI or G:F, and pea and faba bean diets resulted in similar finisher performance. Increasing pulse inclusion linearly increased fecal DM content both in grower pigs (P = 0.02) and finisher pigs (P < 0.01). There were no effects on carcass quality or backfat skatole concentrations, but indole concentration was linearly reduced with increasing pulse inclusion (P = 0.05). It is concluded that pea and faba bean may be a viable alternative to SBM in grower and finisher pig diets.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Fabaceae / classification*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Swine / growth & development*