Nutrition

News 2144 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Organic minerals can increase claw health

Claw health in pig herds is an overlooked problem, which has a great impact on welfare and number of culled sows. Supplementing the pigs with organic minerals can increase the claw health, according to Hans Aae from Vitfoss in Denmark.

Historically speaking there has not been any focus on claw health in pig production. Often farmers try to solve leg problems by applying extra phosphorus – and mostly without any effect. In addition, when farmers want to increase claw health, the focus is often on increasing the biotin in the diet. A greater effect can be achieved when organic micro-minerals (zinc, copper and manganese) are supplemented together with the biotin.

Trials
Vitfoss therefore carried out several field trials with their organic mineral product for sows: Vit-Omic. It was shown that after six months the claw health was significantly improved. Also the number of leg treatments – using antibiotics – was reduced with 55%. Farmers that use the organic mineral mixture on their farms also see fewer culled sows, better functioning sows in the farrowing pens and better growing weaners.

Return of investment
According to Vitfoss, Vit-Omic costs around €3,500 per year for a 500-sow unit. Saying that the number of culled sows is reduced with 9 animals per year, a farmer could save on the following items:
? Less dead sows (5%): €10,000
? Less antibiotic consumption: €1,150
? Less work: €1,050
? Increased productivity (0.5 litter more per sow): €10,000

Return of investment can then easily be 7:1, besides the welfare issue.

Related website:
Vitfoss  

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