12 January 1996

Pinpointing pigs feed energy intake

MORE accuracy is needed for calculating the energy fed to pigs than the DE (digestible energy) analysis currently in use. This overestimates fibre and underestimates starch use by the animal.

This was reported by French researcher Jean Noblet at the conference. He said it is now possible to ration pigs more accurately using calculated net energy (NE) values. He stressed that feed accounts for 50% of the total cost of pig production and energy is a major proportion of this cost.

"Using NE allows more precise estimation of the energy value of feeds either for least cost formulation purposes or for adapting feed supply to energy requirements of animals," he said.

This is because the NE value of a feed accounts for more of the losses during digestion.

Equations were getting closer to the measured values for predicting NE at all stages of pig production.