Thanks to increasing consumer demand for canola oil, canola meal has become an abundant and efficient protein source for the global livestock industry. Canola meal has become popular for use in dairy rations, particularly in the United States. However, other parts of the livestock industry, such as the poultry and swine sectors, have been slower to adopt canola meal as a protein source for their rations. This is due in large part to some misconceptions about canola meal that are now being cleared up, thanks to research sponsored by the Canola Council of Canada. Canola meal manager from the Canola Council of Canada, Brittany Dyck, discussed this research in a recent article in the November 3, 2014 issue of Feedstuffs.
The Feedstuffs article highlights research that indicates that while once thought harmful for young animals at high levels, canola meal can be safely fed to poultry at an inclusion rate of 10% for young birds and up to 30% for older birds. In swine it has also been found that canola meal can be included in piglet diets at a rate of up to 25% without any harmful side effects or stunt in growth (Journal of Animal Science, July 2014).
Other research has shown that the glucosinolate content of canola meal is no longer a concern for livestock producers, thanks to current canola varieties registered for use in Canada.