Okara: A Possible High Protein Feedstuff For Organic Pig Diets

Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2004. A potential alternative organic protein source is okara. Okara is the residue left from ground soybeans after extraction of the water portion used to produce soy milk and tofu. Satisfying the high protein requirements of young pigs presents a production challenge to organic pork producers. The effect of dietary supplementation of okara was evaluated on the growth performance of young pigs. In four replicates, weaned pigs (21 2 d of age) were allotted to one of three pens. Each pen received one dietary treatment. Treatments were control diet (composed of corn, soybean meal, oats, and essential vitamins and minerals), 2) okara 25% (25% of total diet), 3) okara 50% (50% of total diet). Pigs and feed were weighed at d 0 and at 7 d intervals until completion of each 18 d trial. Average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and gain:feed ratio (G:F) were calculated. Data were analyzed using fixed effect models with repeated measures. Feeding dietary okara to young pigs had no effect on ADG, ADFI, or G:F ratio when compared to control treatment. Diets supplemented with 25% okara increased ADG 14% when compared to diets supplemented with 50% okara. Okara fed at 25% of the diet increased G:F ratio 17% when compared to okara fed at 50% of the diet. Under the conditions of our study dietary okara is a potential high protein organic feedstuff. Inclusion levels of dietary okara up to 25% of the diet could be used with no reduction in ADG, ADFI, or G:F ratio.