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Over-formulation

5 1177 Breeding

Every week, I receive at least one request to review a set of diets. Sometimes for sows, sometimes for growers, occasionally for both. I usually prepare a detailed response, attach it to an email, and off it goes. Most sets of formulas come from exterior sources, but more and more in-house nutritionists request for a second opinion - something that I consider very progressive!

I just finished one such review and I cannot stop thinking that there is a common denominator in almost every set of formulas I have reviewed in the last three years since I started my own consultancy firm.

 
Yes, there are the occasional major issues, such as no salt where salt is needed, double the dosage of an additive, an imbalance of protein profile, etc., etc. But, most striking is the fact that almost all formulas are simply over-formulated. Too much of everything or just one thing, it does not matter, it is simply a waste of nutrients, money, and a huge loss of potential profit. So far, I have been able to hack and slash with impunity at nutrients, ingredients, additives, you name it! No bad calls, yet!
 
But, why are formulas so over-formulated? And, mind that this is a global issue, as I receive diets from most pig producing countries (but none from Japan yet!). My own understanding is that such practice is just fear of under-formulation (for many reasons!). No doubt, some safety margins are needed, but 30% extra lysine is not a safety margin, it’s just money ‘down the pits’!
 
What do you think?

by Ioannis Mavromichalis

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5 comments

  • # 1

    David Saornil

    Dear coleague:

    I have had the same experience, in my case focused in piglets. Many times, as you mention in very different countries, and farms, I find lots of protein but unbalanced aminoacids, also lots of fat, and very frequently the use of too many additives, many of them with the same aim. I agree with you there is a fear of under-formulation, together with a very good sales job (additives) and the fact that many farms do not have the possibility of measuring the effect of the nutritional modifications in the diets, so they include these high levels or these extra additives as an insurance policy, let's say.
    Regards,
    David
  • # 2

    Dr Nikolaos Kotrotsios

    Hello
    Do you mean 30%( 300 kg lysine/ton..!!it seems alogical..) or 3%( it's also seems surprised addition!!) ??
    Thanks
  • # 3

    Ioannis Mavromichalis

    Thanks for the verification David!

    The 30% extra lysine refers to dietary specification of lysine as a nutrient, and not to L-Lysine HCl. Apologies for the confusion.
  • # 4

    David Saornil

    Dear Dr. Kotrotsios:
    I think Mr. Mavromichaelis means 30% extra-lysine as a safety margin, not as an absolute value. It means that if you want to give your pigs 1% total lysine, in order to be sure every pig is receiving such amount, you include 1,3% total lysine.
  • # 5

    Dr Nikolaos Kotrotsios

    I see..it means that you calculate the aminoacid level relative to Lysine expressed as a percentage, compared to the others (Met+Cys,Thr,Trp,Arg etc). Thanks for the clarification.

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