Select menhaden fish meal products can be replaced with peptone products without impairing performance, and provide more options when producers are looking for alternative protein sources in nursery pig diets.

A total of 360 nursery pigs weighing 12 lb. and 21 days of age were used in a 35-day study to evaluate the effects of select menhaden fish meal (SMFM), PEP2+ (also known as Ferm-O-Tide), Peptone 50 and PEP-NS on nursery pig performance.

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PEP2+, Peptone 50 and PEP-NS are all porcine intestinal mucosa products, but differ based on the carriers with which they are co-dried. PEP2+ is co-dried with enzymatically processed vegetable proteins. Peptone 50 is co-dried with a vegetable protein. PEP-NS uses byproducts from corn wet milling.

Phase 1 diets were fed in pellet form from Day 0 to 8. Phase 2 diets were fed in meal form from Day 8 to 21. A corn-soybean meal diet was fed from Day 21 to 35.

Six dietary treatments included a control diet containing 2.5% spray-dried animal plasma (SDAP) in Phase 1, followed by no specialty protein sources in Phase 2; a diet containing 5% SDAP in Phase 1 and 3% SMFM in Phase 2; a blend of 5% SDAP and 3% SMFM during Phase 1, and 6% SMFM during Phase 2; a blend of 5% SDAP and 3% PEP2+ during Phase 1, and 6% PEP2 during Phase 2; a blend of 5% SDAP and 3% PEP 50 during Phase 1, and 6% PEP 50 during Phase 2; and a blend of 5% SDAP and 3% PEP-NS during Phase 1, and 6% PEP-NS during Phase 2.

In Phase 1, there were no differences in feed/gain among pigs fed any of the dietary treatments.

During Phase 2 (Day 8 to 21), pigs fed 6% PEP2+ had greater average daily gain compared to the control pigs, 3% or 6% fish meal, with pigs fed PEP 50 and PEP-NS recording intermediate gains.

Furthermore, pigs fed 6% PEP2+ had the greatest improvement in feed/gain compared to pigs on all other diets.

Overall, pigs fed diets containing PEP2+ had increased average daily gain and average daily feed intake compared to pigs on the control diet.

Pigs fed 3% PEP2+ during Phase 1 and 6% PEP2+ during Phase 2 had greater average daily feed intake vs. pigs fed 3% SMFM during Phase 1 and 6% SMFM during Phase 2.

The peptone products performed well as specialty protein sources to replace select menhaden fish meal in Phase 2 nursery pig diets, and pigs fed PEP2+ had greater average daily gain than those fed fish meal.

Researchers: A.J. Myers, M.D. Tokach, R.D. Goodband, S.S. Dritz, J.M. DeRouchey and J. L. Nelssen, all of Kansas State University; J. Moline and Xu Gouxu, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Inc., Marshall, MN; and B.W. Ratliff and D.M. McKilligan of TechMix, Inc., Stewart, MN. For more information, contact Myers by phone (970) 216-9883 or e-mail