3 commentslast update:Oct 19, 2012

Perfect piglet feed

Ioannis Mavromichalis,
Sometime ago, I was asked to make 'the perfect' piglet feed without regards to cost. Rightly so, a couple weeks later, the feed was ready and from the first field trials it was obvious pigs loved it. But the pig owners had other ideas.


The pig owners did not really appreciate the price tag that came along that feed. So, I was asked by the feed manufacturer to make the same feed but ‘cheaper’. OK, not the same, but about the same.

Now, the buyers really liked the feed or rather its lower price, but lamentably pigs did not share their enthusiasm; although they were sport enough to continue eating it. Expecting a marketing bonanza, I was asked next to make again ‘the same’ feed as cheap as possible, ignoring feed intake. At this point, the pigs really hated the feed and the producers were quite upset. At the end, the manufacturer was completely confused.

This is my favorite story. For me, it proves two points. First, you cannot have a good piglet feed at a low price. Good quality ingredients are not cheap. Fish meal is 1.4 euros per kg, premium grade whey is 0.90 euros per kg, plasma is 4.0 euros per kg. Do I need to go on?

Second, this is a good example of lack of proper marketing strategy prior to launching a new piglet feed. Obviously, there is a market for quality feed and there is a market for low cost feed. In my experience, those who try to play in both markets, lose patently!

Any such stories to share?


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    Dr Nikolaos Kotrotsios

    You didn't mention the price of soya meal got 700 euros/mtn!Obviously the cost of production is really tragic..:-((

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    Sergey Stepanow

    Good afternoon.
    We all know that a quality food is a combination of positive results for the group of animals. Among them: illness, death of young animals, animal weight gain, etc. As professionals, we understand this perfectly.
    And we understand that the conditions of pigs on farms - also differ. Therefore, the same food for pigs at different farms gives a different effect. Of course, the ideal food for all the pigs will have a positive effect. But in farms with poor genetics and epizootic situation it will be an additional waste of money, and sometimes will provoke disease of pigs (edematous disease of pigs) in spite of the prophylactic agents. I do not know the recipe for the perfect food that you have made, but most manufacturers and farmers do not understand the properties of all feed ingredients, and often they duplicate ingredients. This I observed in the farms and feed manufacturers in my country.
    In this situation, the economic effect receives only the manufacturer. For this reason, I make it for at least 3 kinds of prescription foods.
    The animals should be fed foods that will profit economy. You also need to help resolve problems that impede the implementation of good food.

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    Dr Olayinka Akinde

    This article leaves more question than answer. But that is okay and desirable. Your piglet feed may be good for nutrition and health but does it support the farmer or even consumers downstream? Our industry has become a convolution of many at times contradicting things, including science, business and economics, welfarism, what else? Legalism? That�s right, legalism! But can we as the nutritionists or the farm animal be all things to all people? May be it�s time to ask piglets to If we cannot do this, then can we ask the piglet to play this role? As we feed piglets (or any animal for that matter) do we think of piglets or the farmer or even the consumer? Where is the balance in all of these? I suspect everyone finds it hard to find. Indeed the nutritionists and managers of this generation have no enviable role at all. Well may be it's time we take a cue from the financial markets: in how they experience booms and bursts, like the sun and moon rotate in a daily cycle. Incidentally many have talked so much about growth in our industry, perhaps also we should think about a possible burst at the corner. Burst in having to rely so much on gold ingredients like the corn, the soya, the �. Excuse me, let not the weklfarist not accuse me as one that feed rubbish to livestock. No! I am just saying that we definitely desire some corrections in ingredient sourcing and selection, product pricing, environmental pressures etc. The problem here is the referee unlike in a football game is not known, talkless of hearing from him/her. Is somebody saying it is the market? Well who is the market: the consumer, the government, traders, a professor conducting some feeding trials, a new additive invention �.? Anyway correction is coming and to be factual it is here!

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