Pig Feed QC highlights profitability and immunity


Day 2 of Asian Agribiz’s Pig Feed Quality Conference addressed ‘Nutritional strategies to build a robust pig’, to help pig producers achieve profitability. Below are some highlights.

Better FCR always leads to better ROI

Research shows that the strongest correlation in terms of economic returns is with FCR and the least with body weight.

There is a strong correlation between FCR and ROI in pig diets, said Chaiyapoom Bunchasak, Professor at the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University in Thailand. “For better economic returns, it is best to improve FCR.” Improving FCR means better nutrient usage, less metabolic stress, and overall improved immunity for pigs, he explained. He noted that nutrient requirements in pig feed formulation need to consider the final consumer. Integrators especially would have to focus their formulation on getting the best ROI and FCR.

Accuracy vs precision in diets

SID and NE are more accurate values to follow during formulation, especially for alternatives.

Accurate rather than precise feed formulation helps boost efficiency in diets, said Prof Bunchasak. Talking about the difference between accuracy and precision, he noted that calculating feed formulation using ‘total basis’ for amino acids was precise but using Standardize Ileal Digestibility (SID) was more accurate. When it comes to energy calculations, he recommended using net energy (NE) values rather than ‘metabolizable energy’ values of ingredients to be accurate. Following accuracy would thus help reduce crude protein use, boost immunity, and lower feed costs, he said. SID and NE values of alternative ingredients also give a better picture during formulation.

Low protein diets can improve immunity

Low protein diets can reduce the deamination of excess amino acids, which leads to poor health and immunity.

Low protein diets can increase amino acid digestibility in pigs, leading to better immunity and health. Prof Bunchasak explained that low protein content would not impact growth performance if there were sufficient digestible amino acids in the diet. “High protein in the gut can impact microbiota modulation, leading to gut inflammation and stress,” he said. Producers can stop this by using low crude protein diets, which saves money.

Feed strategies help reduce cytokine storm in ASF pigs 

An overall feed strategy that improves gut health and reduces inflammation can keep the ASF cytokine storm at bay in pigs.

Feed strategies can help reduce the cytokine storm in ASF-infected pigs. Prof Bunchasak believes that this cytokine storm comes from the inflammation of the gut resulting from the virus. He said reducing gut inflammation using low crude protein diets could help with the cytokine storm. Other feed strategies that can reduce inflammation include the use of Omega-3 and the reduction of antioxidants in the body.

Editor, Asian Feed Magazine and FeedWatch, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her, “A rollercoaster year forces feedmillers to bank on alternatives” analytical piece dives into the volatility within the animal feed sector in Asia and how to weather this storm with multiple alternative solutions.