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Extruded feed makes piglets grow faster

The use of expanded pig feed, to which vitamins and enzymes have been added via a special technique, results in a 4% improvement in Feed conversion and a 4.4% improvement in the growth rate of piglets, according to a recent study.

As vacuum technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, it has become possible to homogeneously, and with a very high degree of precision, inject fats, oils, enzymes and other micro-ingredients deep into the pellet.

 One advantage of the vacuum technique is that it prevents the loss of ingredients that are essential to animal growth and which are also often very expensive.

As vacuum technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, it has become possible to homogeneously, and with a very high degree of precision, inject fats, oils, enzymes and other micro-ingredients deep into the pellet. One advantage of the vacuum technique is that it prevents the loss of ingredients that are essential to animal growth and which are also often very expensive. To test whether expanded feed has an effect on the performance of piglets, Dinnissen Process Technology performed a 6-month study on the use of piglet feed that had been upgraded via its Pegasus® Vacuum Coater. The focus of the study was to determine the effect of the expanded weanling feed and the vitamins and enzymes added via the special technique using the vacuum coater.

Farmers noticed a striking difference. The piglets that were fed the extruded feed were pinker, had more hair and showed less diarrhoea problems.

(Photo: Emile Beurskens, Saweco)

Experimental setup

The primary challenge was to expand the feed in order to improve its digestibility, thereby allowing the animal to utilise it more efficiently. Another challenge was to add the vitamins and enzymes, which are essential to the growth and health of the piglets, as accurately as possible. It is necessary to inject the vitamins and enzymes only after the heating process is completed to ensure that these crucial components retained their full activity. Other important factors include the injection of the essential vitamins and enzymes deep into the pellet and finishing the pellets with a thin protective layer to ensure that none of the vital ingredients would be lost during transport and within feeding installation. The study was carried out at three different farms with a total of 500 piglets. The variables measured included feed conversion, growth, health and uniformity of the piglets, feed consumption and consistency of manure. The study started with weaned piglets weighing 7 - 8 kg each. The piglets were given the new type of weanling feed every five days, after which they were given the new expanded piglet feed for a period of three weeks. The study also included a control group of piglets given a traditional feed containing exactly the same ingredients as the expanded feed.

Results

During the study it was clear that the piglets ate the improved type of feed at the same rate as the traditional feed, however, the new feed resulted in better piglet growth. This result can be explained by a significantly improved intake of essential nutritional ingredients from the feed. In addition, the piglets fed with the new type of feed produced manure of a better consistency. The uniformity of the piglets, which were similar at the start of the study, also remained constant during the study. The pig farmers participating in the study were enthusiastic about the results. They noticed a striking colour difference between the different piglet groups. The piglets fed with the new type of feed were pinker and had more hair. In addition, this group did not have any diarrhoea problems, whereas the piglets fed with the traditional feed did (to a limited extent). It was not necessary to provide medicine for the piglets fed the new feed and there was also less feed waste. The final conclusion that could be drawn from the study was that piglets fed with the new type of feed showed a 4% improvement in feed conversion and a 4.4% improvement in growth.

Source: Feed Mix magazine Volume 15 nr.1

Editor AllAboutFeed

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