“Mastering Challenges...” was the motto for the 4th Pig Production Symposium organised by Miavit GmbH in Essen. Among the 120 guests of Miavit, Germany’s leading manufacturer of premixtures and special feeds, were veterinarians and animal feed producers from all over the country.
In his opening remarks, Stefan Niemeyer, Miavit's Managing Director, clearly outlined the challenges pig producers are currently facing and announced that the symposium would deliver a wealth of information about how best to reconcile animal health and wellbeing with high performance.
Minimisation of the use of antibiotics
The first guest speaker welcomed by Mr Niemeyer was Uwe Bartels, chair of aef OM (Agrarian + Nutrition Forum Oldenburg Munsterland). Mr Bartels emphasised that the local industry is working intensely towards developing sustainable solutions for the issues of animal health and wellbeing, which are relevant for our society. The industry in the Oldenburg Munsterland region, for example, has adopted an exemplary, proactive approach to concerns including the minimisation of the use of antibiotics, and these efforts have been recognised by policymakers. Mr Bartels specifically mentioned the consensus on tail docking which has recently been reached between the State ministry, the ISN (Institute for Science Networking) and aef OM.
New challenges for feed optimisation
The presentation delivered by Prof. Dr. Andreas Susenbeth, of Kiel University, on "Adequate energy and protein supply for modern sow genetics" sparked a lively discussion. The performance increases of the past 10 years have generated new challenges for feed optimisation. After all, it is not only the number of piglets per litter that has increased, but also the sows' milk production. The protein needed during lactation is preferably not mobilised from body mass, as this often has a negative downstream effect on fertility. Instead, feeds need to supply enough protein to ensure that the uptake from feed adequately meets needs.
Dr. Pedro Gonzáles Añover, Miavit GmbH, then introduced the newly developed MiaPhenol product in his presentation. MiaPhenol is a combination of plant components that are particularly rich in antioxidative polyphenols. Recent scientific research on modern approaches to animal feeding has drawn more and more attention to this group of nutrients. MiaPhenol makes a significant contribution to meeting contemporary challenges to animal wellbeing, health and performance, said Dr. Añover.
Feeding strategies for maintaining intestinal health in piglets
The next presentation by Prof. Dr. Georg Dusel, Bingen University of Applied Sciences, introduced innovative feeding strategies for maintaining intestinal health in piglets and demonstrated just how varied current approaches to this topic are. As a rule, feed needs to be optimally adapted to animal needs as far as the raw materials used and the raw nutrients contained are concerned. There is a need for ongoing research, particularly regarding the adequate provision of dietary fibre. Finally, a range of supplements can also contribute to healthy animal nutrition.
Feed trials with zinc
MiaTrace Zinc is a special supplement that supports piglets' intestinal health. Sigrid Seelhorst, Miavit GmbH, presented the results of several feed trials with this source of zinc. Zinc is an essential trace element that plays an important role in the immune system and general health of animals. With its product formulation, MiaTrace Zinc constitutes an even more effective source of zinc than conventional products, and high levels of efficiency are achieved even with low zinc dosages, said Sigrid Seelhorst.