Research conducted at North Carolina State University has found chocolate candy can be used as a useful source of lactose for weaned pigs.
A paper presented at the recent Midwest Animal Science meeting at Des Moine, Iowa, said lactose was an important ingredient of pig diets, but sources of the digestible sugar had become more costly.
However, researchers found that chocolate candy feed (CCF), a by-product of milk chocolate production, could fill in as a source of lactose in weaned pig diets, and could supply up to 45% of lactose without affecting pig performance.
A trial that studied 1,408 weaned pigs split into four groups saw three of the groups fed varying amounts of CCF, while the fourth acted as a control. The researchers found that adding CCF to the pigs’ diets didn’t affect average daily gain or FCR. There was also no impact on pig health, including diarrhoea scores.
CCF doesn’t contain as much lactose as dried whey permeate, but it’s cheaper.