Organic Minerals Improve Productivity

by 5m Editor
22 June 2007, at 7:31am

US - As modern geneotypes push the barriers of sow productivity, has mineral nutrition been keeping pace, asked Paul Groenewegen, technical manager of Alltech Canada, at its 23rd International Feed Industry Symposium.

Genetic improvement in hogs has pressured the nutritional demands. Litter sizes are being increased and litter weaning weights have increased while weaning ages have decreased.

Since the NRC’s nutritional requirements for sows were formulated, the industry has overall made a great genetic improvement. Limitations of the existing recommendations should be examined, Groenewegen challenged. "There is need for greater availability of the nutrient supply to support growth, efficiency, reproduction and different requirements than the lactating sow,” Groenewegen said.

Minerals are required in small amounts by the sow, but they are very essential, he explained. Highly prolific sows are depleted of minerals as they progress through parities. Organic minerals present a more available source of minerals to the animal, aiding in absorption throughout the sow’s productive life.

Organic minerals have proven to effectively increase immunity, he explained. “The grow-to-finish animal has mineral absorption. Initial studies that replaced inorganic minerals with organic minerals at a ratio of 70 percent inorganic to 30 percent organic, showed improvements in production," Groenewegen explained. While feeding the same amount of mineral and only varying the type the researchers saw sows becoming more reproductively efficient, showing stronger heats and breeding quicker.

After seeing these positive results, the researchers reduced the percentage of inorganic minerals to 60 percent. The hogs responded with a decreased cull rate, in addition to the aforementioned results.

In commercial trials involving 60,000 sows in Western Canada, Groenewegen explained that increased productivity was consistent with organic mineral replacement. Breeding performance was improved as time between weaning and first service dropped, he said. In addition, the adjusted farrowing rate increased 2.9 percent, litters per mated female per year increased by 0.1, pigs per mated female per year increased by 0.28 and non-productive sow days decreased by 7.8.

Source: Livestock Roundup

5m Editor