Regular Diet Re-formulation Encouraged

CANADA - Researchers at the Prairie Swine Centre are encouraging pork producers to regularly reformulate hog rations, focusing on the energy component of diet, to keep a lid on feeding costs, Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 20 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The Prairie Swine Centre kicked off a series of information meetings yesterday which is looking at strategies producers can use to reduce operating costs without incurring additional expense.

Prairie Swine Centre President and CEO Dr. John Patience says feed typically represents between 50 and 75 percent of the total cost of pork production in Canada and the energy component alone represents about 25 percent of the cost of production.

Dr. John Patience-Prairie Swine Centre

Typically producers have tended to focus much of their attention on the amino acid content of the diet, the protein because that's what drives lean gain and that's what produces a lean carcass which is what the consumer wants.

And also producers have focused on things like vitamins and minerals because those contribute to the health of the pig and those components certainly are very very important but we would suggest that the highest priority, after you've dealt with the issue of what is the objective of the feeding program, should be on energy levels, selecting the correct energy level.

Our research and analysis has shown that, depending on your success in selecting that right energy level for your feeding program, you could increase your net by anywhere from a dollar to 13 dollars per pig.

In other words if you've got it really wrong you're wasting 13 dollars a pig and if you've got it really right on then you're where you need to be but we think in many many circumstances there is somewhere probably one to three dollars a pig available just by fine tuning the energy level given the current cost of energy, i.e. wheat and corn compared to six months ago even.

Dr. Patience says the energy level being aimed for will dictate to some extent the ingredients that can be considered but, he notes, there is a diverse array of choices.

Because the cost of those ingredients are changing so rapidly, he recommends reformulating diets every couple of weeks.

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