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Nutrition Questions

Ioannis Mavromichalis, PhD, International Consulting Nutritionist, Ariston Nutrition SL
Nutrition is expensive, and it will remain so for a long time, especially while biofuels continue to compete with animals for cereals and other crops. Today, nutrition cost is estimated at 75% of total production cost. Most pig producers use free nutrition services offered 'freely'not only by qualified nutrition suppliers, but quite often even by suppliers that have little connection to nutrition.

For such an expensive decision, as to what nutrition program to follow, one can never be too vigilant. Even a mere 5% reduction in feeding cost can make the difference between breaking even or breaking the bank!
So, if you are already using a free nutrition service, you may want to question your provider about the following issues:
1. Who does your formulations, what are their qualifications, and what training are they receiving
every year - it would not be a bad idea to meet these professionals and even invite them in your
farm to see the animals, facilities, and meet your work force.
2. What kind of ingredient nutrient matrix is used and how is it updated? Is it an in-house
database updated by laboratory results or a generic reference library? Both are valid, but they
require different approach during feed formulation!
3. How were nutrient specifications (energy, lysine, etc) for your formulas decided?
a. Was your genetics taken into account?
b. Was the health status of your farm considered?
4. What is the route by which your formulas try to maximize profitability for you? Is it...
a. minimum cost per kg feed?
b. maximal pig performance?
c. optimal carcass characteristics?
Also, it would be a good idea to ask if there is a plan to challenge your pigs with a new set of
formulas to identify areas where cost savings might occur or performance might improve.




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    Dr Nikolaos Kotrotsios

    If we are able to put out the profit of this action and getting the opportunity to focus on how much important is the correlation of the animal nutrition with the health status then we get to my favorite subject! It is called clinical nutrition and for me as a veterinarian with a PhD in swine nutrition, it�s obligatory to get an optimal combination.Studying how food works in the body, nutritionists are interested in how the environment affects the quality and safety of foods and what influence these factors have on health and disease. Anorexia, loss of appetite, is the first clinical symptom you should observed on the majority of animal diseases. The correction of animal nutrition is the main subject for the improvement of the body status. The science of nutrients and how they are digested, absorbed, transported, metabolized, stored, and eliminated by the body may develop clinical signs of stiffness, hindlimb weakness, lameness, lethargy, decreased reproductive performance. Some examples such as acute calcium deficiency from the metabolic demands of parturition and lactation, rectum prolapse and splay leg through the presence of mycotoxins in the feeds,agalactia through maximum feed intake or overfeeding, are indicating the strength of clinical nutrition. Similar to pregnancy toxaemia affected animals may be asymptomatic and die suddenly, or show dehydration, depression, anorexia, muscle spasms, and convulsions. Some nutritional supplements can interact with medications and should carefully being able to face side effects. Using some products in the nutrition (probiotics,prebiotics,acids) making enteric environment being able to resist the development of bacteria and the existence of diarrhoea problems. Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in the body's normal metabolism, growth, and development. For example, while a vitamin is not a source of energy by itself, it can provide the key the body needs to unlock energy stored in food. Some vitamins and minerals work together, such as the mineral zinc and vitamin A or calcium and vitamin D, and their collaboration leading to avoid any pathological conditions and promote good health. If we take in consideration all those things then the nutrition questions must be optimized with the success in the performance and health status of the animal.

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    John Gadd

    Dr Mavromichalis makes some useful points - but I rather gathered that he is rather uncertain about the competence of some (pig) nutritionists! He lists points to enable producers to check up on this. I don't intend to enter into any argument as to whether he is correct in this view or not, or whether this approach by their clients is needed.
    This is because every one of the pig nutitionists I work with have been very competent and have taken on board all the points Ioannis makes. What they all tell me is that they receive far too little information from their clients so as to enable them to make the best economic use of the modern nutritional knowlege they possess these days, as well as what are the circumstances on the farm which may, and usually will, impact on this.
    I totally agee. Providing the right information to any pig nutritionist is the most important thing a pig producer can achieve in these days of 'super-precise nutrition' - especially by the growing/finishing producer, because this section of the farm accounts for nearly four fifths of the feed cost of producing a kg of saleable meat.
    There are six basic pieces of information a nutritionist (who ticks all the boxes in Dr. Mavromichalis' list) must have regularly. These are clearly described in my column in Pig Progress for No 11, 2011. They are not onerous, and from my records over the past 5 years the payback for this little extra effort has been never less than 2:1 at slaughter and could be over 5:1.
    Okay, act on Ioannis' list if you want to, but be sure to follow it up with the vital six pieces of essential on-farm information any nutritionist worth the title must have.

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    King Yazer

    I am very interested in the so-called free nutrition services in US. But any way there is no such free launch in China.

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