Science & Solutions No. 52 - Swine US

Feed your Competitive Edge

Pig producers must manage a whole host of factors in order to stay naturally ahead; it is no longer enough to be good at handling pigs. You also need to know about a range of factors including the health of your animals, genetics, optimal housing conditions and nutritional requirements. But above all, you must be able to understand and react to the market forces affecting local and global pork consumption.

Sometimes problems arise in the herd that give obvious symptoms. In a previous job, I saw first-hand the problems caused by a faulty feed mixer. The consequent overdosing of soybean meal in the lactating feed mix meant that the piglets got a bad case of diarrhea. It was obvious that there was a problem, but identifying the problem took a long time and a lot of effort by everyone in the mill. Weight sensors were checked and numerous feed samples were collected and analyzed. Finally, the faulty dosing of soybean was linked back to the transport system and corrective action was taken. Unfortunately, not all problems are so easy to identify. A slight downward shift in performance might be overlooked as a temporary anomaly, leaving the underlying cause untreated and able to reduce productivity further. In this issue of Science & Solutions, we highlight the importance of managing all aspects of your pig herd, not just those where the problems are obvious. One consumer-driven trend currently affecting all livestock production is the reduction or elimination of antibiotics. Without antibiotics, animals experience an additional microbial challenge but producers cannot afford any consequent reduction in performance. Santa-Maria Mendoza takes a closer look at the importance of gut health and how to bridge the performance gap with feed supplements. Phytogenic feed additives can also be used to increase profitability, as Thomas Weiland explains. And Konstantinos Sarantis reminds us that pig production would not be possible were it not for gilts, a group of animals that should be given dedicated attention to ensure production success.

Enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

In this issue:

The Importance of Gut Health in Antibiotic-Free Pork Production
Rising demand for antibiotic-free pork means that producers need to find alternatives for disease management. Understanding how to achieve optimal gut health without antibiotics will not only maintain, but also improve performance.

6 Critical Factors in Successful Gilt Management
Gilts are the vehicles for genetic progression in a pig unit, dictating the productivity performance of the entire unit. Particular care must be paid to six critical factors when managing this group of animals.

What Dozens of Swine Trials Tell Us about Phytogenics and Profitability
Performance and meat quality improvements stemming from phytogenic feed additive application are key to achieving better economic results.

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