Pig Nutritionists Work to Improve Feed's Nutritional Value

CANADA - Researchers working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc are evaluating various feed ingredients, feed additives and feed processing technologies in an effort to help pork producers get the most value from the money they invest in feed, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 23 January 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of a multi institutional, multidisciplinary research effort being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, researchers are looking at feeding programs for growing-finishing pigs to enhance global competitiveness opportunities across Canada.

Dr Ruurd Zijlstra, an animal science professor with the University of Alberta, says the feed ingredients themselves, as well as technologies to allow the pig to extract more nutrients from the feed, such as feed additives, or processing, including processing of the ingredient or the entire feed will influence the nutritional value of the feed.

Dr Ruurd Zijlstra - University of Alberta:

Nutrition or feeding of a pig, even though feed cost prices thankfully have come down a little bit, they're still a major cost of production so any increase in efficiency of using the nutrients that are in those feedstuffs that you can gather directly brings money back to the producer.

You can look at that from better understanding the feedstuff that you can feed, looking at how can you improve the feedstuff that you feed using processing, you can think of are there different technologies that could be applied to that you can link nutrient requirements from an individual pig to the feed that that individual pig is providing, you can look at it carefully screening what are the nutrient requirements of the entire herd and also the final step is making sure that that actually works in practice.

So I think with this project, we've gathered some nice pieces of a puzzle in order to achieve that.

Dr Zijlstra says information gathered through this research will help nutritionists who formulate the rations improve their feeding programmes, and if you end up with better feeding programmes, it should result in increases in net income for the pork producer.

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