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Science makes feed for better performance

Science makes feed for better pig performance

Article by Gary Fitzner, PhD, PAS, Nutritionist at HAMLET PROTEIN

Research is developing new nutrient specifications in line with piglet needs

Formulating a piglet starter diet is today almost as much an art as it is a science.  As every feed nutritionist knows from experience, there are many considerations involved in making sure that pigs not only eat the feed but also grow efficiently and healthily.  

New knowledge is gradually taking the art out of formulating piglet starter feed. By insisting on a scientific approach, researchers are developing a set of ingredients that can meet the specific dietary requirements of younger animals and maximize their growth and performance.

Among the focus areas right now is the question of nutrient digestibility. In a meta-analysis conducted by HAMLET PROTEIN in collaboration with the University of Illinois, it was found that the digestibility of the amino acids (AA) in different soy-based ingredients changes as piglets become older.

10% lower SID AA in piglets
As most published values for ingredient digestibility have been determined in growing or finishing pigs, the meta-analysis confirms that such standardized ileal digestibility (SID) values are not applicable to pigs that weigh less than 20kg.

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