Precision feeding pigs can reduce the amount of lysine needed by 25% and reduce feed costs by more than 8%, without affecting growth.
These are the findings of Canadian research scientist Dr Candido Pomar, of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, who has trialled precision feeding systems in growing and finishing pigs and shared the details at the BPEX Innovation Conference.
Dr Pomar said: "Currently, most producers feed pigs in groups with diets that are designed to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding pigs, therefore most of the pigs receive more nutrients than they really need to express their growth potential.
"During our trials, we fed pigs individually with diets tailored daily to individual needs, which enabled us to achieve similar feed intake and growth results as in conventional feeding systems and, at the same time, reduce lysine intake by 25%."
Dr Pomar said: "The feeder is quite simple and robust and the software automatically calculates the composition of feed needed each morning for each pig during the coming day. Importantly, all the information is readily available to producers on the computer. They can see all the pig data from the house or the office and quickly identify any reductions in growth or feed intake. Access to real-time farm data such as feed consumption and animal growth is an invaluable tool for pig management."
"I believe that, 10 years from now, the majority of pig producers will be using precision feeding. The economic benefits are so high that we have to do it. We are probably two to three years away from commercialisation of the technology."
Videos of all the presentations from the conference, on both feeding and performance data recording, can be viewed here...
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