Prairie Swine Centre old

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Potential of Cereal By-Products from Ethanol Production as Feed Ingredients for Swine Production -Monograph

Posted in: Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Prairie Swine Centre old by admin on July 7, 2017 | No Comments

With the tremendous growth of the ethanol industry, more and more by-products – namely, distiller’s grains and thin stillage (DDGS) are available for livestock rations. The nutritional value of dried wheat distiller’s grain for grower-finisher pigs was prior to start of the project unknown, especially the value of wheat DDGS produced in western Canada.

The main objectives for a series of experiment were to: a) characterize the nutritional value of wheat-based DDGS, b) to determine the impact on nutrient excretion, c) optimize feed strategies, and 4) to detect impact on carcass quality. Therefore, to study this feedstuff, the project was initiated with a digestibility experiment with cannulated grower-finisher pigs fed one wheat control diet and 3 dried distiller’s grain diets (corn, corn and wheat, and wheat distiller’s grain). Ingredient, feed, faeces, and digesta samples were collected and were analyzed to determine DE, digestible amino acid, and digestible phosphorus content for the three DDGS samples. This first project indicated in total that wheat DDGS can be used as a feedstuff for swine, but has a lower nutritional value than the parent wheat. However, feeding of wheat DDGS, in particular poor quality wheat DDGS might reduce voluntary feed intake. Feeding of wheat DDGS will increase N excretion, and may reduce P excretion, due to high P digestibility due to degradation of phytate. As such feed wheat DDGS to nursery and grower-finisher pigs may have to be limited to 10 to 20%, for poor quality wheat DDGS, whereas wheat DDGS might be fed up to 30% in finisher pigs, if a good or excellent quality. If proper diet formulation is used (NE and SID AA content), impact on carcass quality is limited but dressing percentage will be reduced by 1 to 2% due to a higher weight of the gastro-intestinal tract due to the additional fibre in the diet.. In a series of follow-up experiments, supplemental enzymes were studied to alleviate the reduced nutrient digestibility and voluntary feed intake; however, supplemental enzymes proved less effective than expected. In collaborative project, effects of feed processing especially extrusion technology have been studied. In conclusion, wheat-based DDGS can be added to feedstuffs databases for feed formulation for swine.

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Posted in: Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre old, Welfare by admin on July 6, 2017 | No Comments

One of the more controversial aspects of pig production is the housing of gestating sows. Gestation stalls have been identified as one of the three most restrictive practices, along with battery cages for hens and crates for veal calves, throughout the history of the modern animal welfare movement.

This speech outlines pros and cons of four different group housing systems:

  • Floor feeding
    • Low cost
    • High space requirement
    • Increased agression
  • Trickle/Bio-Box feeding
    • Lowered aggression
    • Moderate space requirements
    • High cost
  • Individual feed stalls
    • Meets individuals nutritional needs well
    • Increased labour costs but decreased space and input
    • minimal agression
  • ESF
    • Greatest control of feed intake
    • Ability to monitor animals intake directly over time
    • High cost
    • additional training


Feed intake and growth curves in growing-finishing pigs

Posted in: Prairie Swine Centre old by admin on January 1, 1993 | No Comments

Feed and intake growth curves represent the pattern of feed intake and growth in relation to live body weight or time. Once feed intake and growth curves are established, animal and financial performance can be evaluated and marginal costs can be determined. The objective of this study was to determine how many observations are required to establish feed intake and growth curves for the different groups of growing-finishing pigs. For the study, barrows and gilts were house separately and in different sized groups. Various mathematical functions were used to relate feed intake to live body weight and live body weight to time in the barn. These functions were characterized by the type of function and the number of variables included.
Results from the study showed a clear effect of sex on feed intake. Barrows consumed around 13% more feed than gilts. Live weight gain for barrows housed in groups of 1 and 5 tended to be lower at the largest group size. Gilts housed individually tended to gain faster than those housed in groups of 5 and 12. When mathematical functions were evaluated to relate feed intake to live body weight, it was found that exponential functions were just as accurate as asymptotic. It was noticed that in some pens, the weekly feed intake was substantially different from the actual feed intake curve. Thus it is important to get multiple observations, but it is more meaningful to take feed intake measurements at two week periods. It was also observed that the difference in feed intake between sexes is increased, as the pigs grow heavier. For this reason it is suggested that the difference in gilt and barrow feeds should be larger during the finishing phase than the grower phase.
The general pattern of feed intake and growth in gilts and barrows that were housed in various group sizes was accurately represented by various mathematical functions that included only two parameters each. This means that the number of observations required to establish feed intake and growth curves can be reduced.

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