Pig feeds question

27 February 1998

Pig feeds question

PIG feeds are not supplying sufficient levels of essential minerals to satisfy genotype and production demands, often leading to higher culling rates.

This stark warning came from Berkshire-based independent pig consultant, Bill Close, speaking at last weeks Alltech feed conference.

He suggested that a third parity sow fed recommended mineral levels, and with weaned litter weight of over 55kg, mobilised 20% body calcium to meet productivity.

"Isnt it any wonder that 15% of sows culled today are suffering leg problems? And its the same story for other essential minerals."

The situation is exacerbated by a push for lean tissue growth which reduces voluntary feed intake, he said. "Dietary requirements may be considerably higher than those stated at the last review some 20 years ago."

Despite advances in animal genetics and production systems, the UK has no scheduled research to review pig mineral requirements. "It is long overdue," Mr Close said.

However, producer concerns about mineral deficiencies should be put into context, said independent nutritionist, Caroline Bevan. "If severe deficiencies had occurred producers would have seen the symptoms."

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