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Customising Rations for Each Pig Improves Feed Nutrient Utilisation

02 September 2016
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - A research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says, by formulating rations for each pig individually, producers can dramatically cut their overall feed costs, writes Bruce Cochrane.

As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc scientists are developing a precision feeder that will custom formulate diets to match the nutritional needs of each individual pig.

Dr Candido Pomar, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Sherbrook, says the goal is to improve the overall utilization of the nutrients in the feed.

Dr Candido Pomar-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

Imagine we have a heterogeneous group of pigs, so pigs that are big, pigs that are smaller, pigs that are growing faster than others and so on.

By customizing the diet every day to every pig, we can maintain optimal growth of these animals but, for the overall group, by customizing we are going to reduce by 25 per cent the level of nutrients we have to provide.

When you are feeding a heterogeneous group, you have always to feed the group according to the needs of the most demanding pigs.

If you give less, then you have a large proportion of the animals that are not going to be able to express their full potential for growth.

If you want to maintain optimal growth of the group you have to be always targeting the most demanding ones to feed the group.

Feeding individually, the good thing is that those that are less demanding animals receive a diet that has less nutrients and those more demanding ones receive a diet that has a higher concentration.

In the end, by feeding pigs individually, you can get the same growth but with 25 per cent less nutrient intake.

Dr Pomar says, by reducing overall nutrient concentrations, producers will reduce their feed costs and there will be less nutrients ending up in the environment.

ThePigSite News Desk

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