Balance nutrients with animal needs

6 July 2001

Balance nutrients with animal needs

REDUCING nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from pig and poultry units involves balancing the nutrient content of the diet with animal requirements.

Practical solutions to achieve this are already available, said Frank Wrights pig specialist Paul Blanchard. "It is widely perceived that putting these into practice will increase costs, instead they lower costs."

Strategies include using synthetic amino acid supplements to lower dietary protein levels and sophisticated feeding methods, such as phase feeding. Simply reducing dietary protein levels by selecting diets on a lysine basis cuts nitrogen losses by 25%, he said.

"Producers assume that being more environmentally friendly means accepting lower productivity. But the best way to reduce waste is to improve feed conversion ratios."

Dr Blanchard also believes dust is a big problem. "Dust carries micro-organisms and micro-toxins which trigger asthma. Applying a fine spray of vegetable oil over pig pens can reduce dust." &#42

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