Science Taking Bite out of Feed Costs
Recent studies have been focused on reducing feed costs as they have been rising continuously. Effective feeding strategies are being developed for weaning pigs to improve pig robustness, reduce reliance on in-feed antibiotics and maximize profits. This involves investigating functional amino acids, creating biological and chemical strategies for the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol, also known as vomitoxin, and reducing costs through implementing pulse grains into the weaned pig diet. Weaning is a very stressful experience for the pigs, with separation from the sow, a new housing environment and switching to solid food all being major changes. The immune and digestive systems are still not fully developed as well which may result in disease, decreased feed intake and impaired digestion. Antibiotics or high levels of zinc oxide have been used to help prevent the enteric diseases that can occur. Unfortunately, this practice is leading to antibiotic resistance so alternatives to antibiotics are being investigated. A variety of probiotics and enzymes are being researched to see if they could be used as possible alternatives.
Science Taking Bite out of Feed Costs (full article)