Strategies Recommended for Reducing Supplemental Phosphorus in Swine Diets

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2092. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 20 March 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2092

Scientists at the Prairie Swine Centre are recommending a combination of strategies to reduce the need to include inorganic phosphorus supplements in swine diets.

Because 40 to 50 percent of the phosphorus in feeds is tied up as phytate phosphorus and is not available to pigs, swine producers often supplement with inorganic phosphorus to meet nutritional needs.

This increases feeding costs and increases the amount of phosphorus in the manure which carries environmental implications.

The economics of dietary phosphorus will be examined next week in Saskatoon during the Focus on the Future conference.

Prairie Swine Centre swine nutritionist Dr. Denise Beaulieu says producers have several options, the most effective being the use of an enzyme that helps the pigs utilize the unavailable phosphorus.

"The biggest change that can be done is the use of the phytase enzyme.

This is a bacterial enzyme added to the feed and it breaks down the phytase phosphorus making the phosphorus in that molecule available to the animal.

You can increase dietary phosphorus digestibility by 20 or 30 percent with the use of this enzyme, so decreasing phosphorus output immediately by 20 to 30 percent.

That is the single change that will have the most dramatic effect.

There are other things that can be done, more closely watching the total phosphorus levels in the ration, formulating on an available phosphorus basis which means the phosphorus that you know is available to the pig, phase feeding, split sex feeding and there are some other dietary things that can be done but phytase will see the biggest returns."

Dr. Beaulieu says, as the cost of the phytase enzyme has come down and producers have become more aware of the environmental concerns, the use of this compound has increased in popularity.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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