New feed supplement boosts piglet production
Following recognition under the UFAS feed approval scheme UK pig farmers now have access to a new product, Digeston-K, a feed supplement that can improve sow productivity by at least one pig per sow a year.
Supplied by Suffolk-based G E Baker Ltd (Quality Equipment), it was developed in Austria over a period of years using a particular combination of natural ingredients to influence the flora of the sow's gut and improve her immune response.
“Stress at farrowing can allow harmful bacteria such as E. coli to multiply, but Continental trials have shown feeding Digeston-K favourably alters the ratio of 'good' to 'bad' bacteria. This means the sow is less susceptible to such problems as MMA and can produce better quality colostrum resulting in healthier, more disease-resistant piglets,” said Graham Baker, G E Baker director.
Key ingredients are soya meal and dried horseradish roots. The soya undergoes controlled lactic acid fermentation by several selected strains of natural lactobacilli, forming a highly-diversified micro-flora in the finished product. This helps the animal to meet different disease challenges. The particular fermentation process dramatically increases the quantity of water-soluble amino acids and results in the production of metabolites, many of which are known to enhance mucosal immunity. Short-chain peptides, which have an immune-enhancing function, are also produced.
The dried horseradish root also supports the immune system. In addition it stimulates enzyme activity. This enhances digestion and feed conversion efficiency as well as improving fertility, particularly oestrus in sows resulting in larger and more even litters.
Digeston-K is added to the sow's feed at the rate of 2kg per tonne, during gestation and lactation at a cost of £6.95 per tonne treated. It is both heat and pH stable making it suitable for incorporation in compound feed and for use by home mixers.
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