15 November 1996

Check up your feeds origins

QUALITY control is increasingly vital for pig units which wet-feed by-products, says Bob White, director for feed consultancy Banbury Agriculture.

"The BSE crisis has made all meat buyers more concerned about animal feeds," says Mr White. "By-products are available from a wide range of human food and drink production sources and so a thorough knowledge of all ingredients used is needed."

This is particularly so when new sources become available, and he advises checking a feeds origin, for example whether it is of animal origin, from a cereal process or milk based. A knowledge of the processes it has undergone must also be gained.

"That is, how high a temperature the product has been cooked at, what additives are included or what elements extracted. Extreme caution must be exercised with animal-based products.

"When satisfied the product is safe, its storage characteristics must be assessed – some products are prone to fermenting in store and energy content can be lost," he says.

At delivery, products must be checked carefully. In whey products lactose can be measured and the dry matter of all feed loads must be calculated. This should be backed up by regular monitoring of stored feeds through laboratory analysis of all ingredients including home-produced cereals. &#42


&#8226 Can cut costs a kg lwt gain.

&#8226 Quality control of by-products vital.

&#8226 Rations must be adjusted in winter to compensate for lower temperature.