Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science


Sunflower seeds have become an important crop in several midwestern states. In the past, sunflower seeds have been used primarily in the production of sunflower oil and sunflower meal, with some seeds being used in the production of confectionery seeds. Not all sunflower seeds are suitable for these uses. An alternate use of these seeds would be incorporating them into livestock diets. Sunflower seeds may contain 40% or more oil that is highly unsaturated in nature. In swine diets the addition of a fat source such as sunflower seeds would be primarily at the expense of a carbohydrate source in the diet. This would have the effect of increasing the energy content per kilogram of feed and of shifting the source of energy from carbohydrates to a mixture of carbohydrates and fat. The addition of sunflower seeds to swine diets is a relatively new concept. Substantial work has been done in the area of increasing the fat content of swine diets either by adding fat directly or by including high fat-type seeds such as soybeans. Although there is some variation in results, most studies indicate that adding fat to a swine diet will increase the feed efficiency of the pig and usually decrease feed consumption. There is much less agreement on the effect adding a fat source to a diet has on average daily gain. When adding a fat source to swine diets, one must also be concerned with the effects of the added fat on carcass composition and quality. Fat sources that are highly unsaturated can produce carcasses that are soft and less desirable to the meat packer. This results from a lower melting point of fat containing an increased level of unsaturated fatty acids. Pork storage also becomes a. concern because intramuscular fat that has a higher level of unsaturated fatty acids is more susceptible to oxidative rancidity, thereby producing a product that is less desirable to the consumer. All the effects described above can be moderated by the total fat content and the fatty ac id composition of the dietary fat. Therefore, various fat sources in different quantities could produce slightly different carcass characteristics in the pig. The objectives of these experiments were to determine the effects of feeding diets containing various levels of sunflower seeds to growing-finishing swine on: 1. Average daily gain, feed efficiency, and average daily feed intake. 2. Quantitative carcass characteristics such as carcass length, average backfat, tenth rib fat, loin eye area and kilograms of muscle contained in the carcass. 3. Qualitative carcass characteristics, including carcass firmness and color, firmness and marbling of the longissimus muscle. 4. Fatty acid composition of backfat. 5. Consumer acceptability of the meat product.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Feeding and feeds

Swine -- Carcasses

Sunflowers -- Seeds

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University