Based on our research, while spent grains are being fed to hogs (domestic pig that weighs more than 120 lbs. (54 kilograms)), according to this article in Grit, the effects of spent grain consumption as hog feed are not quite as impressive.
In hogs, increased amounts of dried spent grains correlated with lower feed intake and a longer time to reach slaughter weight.
As hogs are not ruminants, and can’t digest fiber very well, the primary value of spent grains in their diet is the protein content.
However, according to this article that references University of Guelph professor, Ming Fan, who specializes in the study of gastrointestinal physiology, nutrition and metabolism in pigs, said there are numerous benefits to farmers who use spent grain in addition to regular feed.
One of the benefits is cost savings. About 70 per cent of a pig farmer’s operating costs is tied to purchasing animal feed, so the opportunity to save money on quality feed is a bonus, said Fan.
Also, the high fibre content in spent grains has the potential to decrease the odour of the manure and increase the quality of the meat.
“Potentially, believe it or not, in principle pork quality will be better,” he said.
Fan does say, however, that it’s important for farmers to consult nutritionists to ensure their animals are getting all the nutrients they need for proper health.