Pig feeding trials seek cost-saving strategies
Trials underway at Kansas State University's recently commissioned swine research facility in Manhattan, aim to reveal money-saving feeding strategies for each stage of growth in grower/finisher pigs.
K-State researchers plan to conduct a number of trials to determine the most profitable feeding strategies using Feedlogic blending technology. Completed late in 2008, the new facility is equipped with a Feedlogic FEEDPro system which allows researchers to feed up to 12 individually manufactured diets to 80 pens. The system can also blend diets, adding scores more potential diet combinations.
The initial trials have been focused on lysine titration which will determine the optimum lysine levels for pigs growing from 23 Kg (50 lb) to 113 Kg (250 lb). Using two base diets, researchers are able to use the Feedlogic system to create and deliver multiple blends, each with a slightly different lysine level. Performance of each pen is tracked and used to determine the correct lysine level.
Armed with lysine requirements, researchers plan to create feed curves, using the Feedlogic system to compare curve feeding with standard stepped diet feeding programs. The curve-fed pigs will receive a blended diet made from just two base diets which will be changed frequently throughout growth. The stepped-fed pigs will receive the same ration for a 30-40-pound growth period.
K-State researchers are also planning to experiment with blending strategies using a mix of a straight grain with a protein/VTM package. This approach has some advantages for producers growing or sourcing their own grain and purchasing protein/VTM ingredients separately.
The Feedlogic system will be used to blend the grain from one bin with the protein/VTM from another bin. Researchers are hoping to create one protein/VTM mix that can be used throughout a grow/finish period, simplifying feed manufacturing, delivery, and storage.
Kansas State University
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