24 May 2002

Less backfat boon

SUPPLEMENTING grower and finisher rations with a new natural feed additive will allow producers to aim for heavier finishing weights without excess backfat.

Launched by Trouw Nutrition at the Pig and Poultry Fair, the Greenline supplement offers greater pig production efficiency, said its pig technical manager, Peter Wilcox.

"Compared with the growth promoter Salocin, there was a 10% improvement in daily gain in a study of 400 finishers taken to 100kg liveweight. But there was also a 10% reduction in backfat."

Dr Wilcox is not sure why it reduced backfat, but it may reflect a repartitioning of nutrients from fat to meat production, as meat percentage was also found to be higher.

Further on-farm work has confirmed this reduction.

With the recent shift towards heavier finishing weights, excess back fat has become more common, triggering a payment penalty. He believes with this product, producers can avoid these penalties, which together with improved performance, cut costs by up to £1 a pig. &#42

The supplement is a blend of essential oils, volatile fatty acids and minerals designed to help improve digestion and boost natural immunity, he adds.