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Curly tails, happy pigs and gut health in Pig Progress 10

The latest edition of Pig Progress is now available online. Between the covers of this edition we look at ways to curb tail biting, a feed additive for happier pigs, and amino acids for gut health.

Sow milk yield and quality for a large litter

With the rapid development of pig herd performance over recent decades, it is not uncommon that upwards of 30 piglets are weaned per sow per year. Dr Klausing looks at feeding strategies and feed composition in light of this level of production on pages 6-8.

Only sows that have been specifically fed for their condition are able to produce enough nutritious milk from the very beginning. Photo: Ronald Hissink
Only sows that have been specifically fed for their condition are able to produce enough nutritious milk from the very beginning. Photo: Ronald Hissink

Tail biting can be nail biting for producers

Ideally, conventional pig producers must identify a tail-biting problem as early on as possible. In this article on pages 14-16 we understand what to look out for, and what to do about it.

Providing a distraction to a group of pigs is key. It is important to change the type of distraction regularly to keep the pigs’ interest. Photo: J-Y. Chou
Providing a distraction to a group of pigs is key. It is important to change the type of distraction regularly to keep the pigs’ interest. Photo: J-Y. Chou

Excellent feeding conditions to prevent tail biting

Continuing the subject of tail biting on pages 20-22, in Finland, where tail cutting was banned in 2003, pig producers have shown excellent results of reduced tail biting through optimal feeding conditions.

Straw is given as an additional safeguard against tail biting. Photo: Henk Riswick
Straw is given as an additional safeguard against tail biting. Photo: Henk Riswick

Dealing with depression in pigs

According to Russian scientists, the incidence of depression amongst pigs has seen an increase over recent decades. We look at a new feed additive on pages 12-13 that aims to help pigs to combat stress.

Russian scientists have tested a feed additive designed to make pigs happier. Photo: Vladislav Vorotnikov
Russian scientists have tested a feed additive designed to make pigs happier. Photo: Vladislav Vorotnikov

Agile amino acids for piglet gut health

Piglet gut health takes the limelight as producers are required to reduce the use of antibiotics and zinc oxide whilst maintaining performance. Reducing dietary protein content is an important factor in reducing gut disorders, but we also need to reconsider the way that amino acid nutrition in diet formulation is addressed. Pages 10-11.

A lower supply of dietary protein reduces protein microbial fermentation thereby preventing the development of pathogenic bacteria. Photo: Ajinomoto
A lower supply of dietary protein reduces protein microbial fermentation thereby preventing the development of pathogenic bacteria. Photo: Ajinomoto

Feed intake directly affected by space

Feed intake is dramatically affected by the space given to pigs. It is essential that pigs eat immediately after weaning, and so the need to ensure that pigs have the space to mimic the feeding and drinking behaviour of pen-mates should not be underestimated. Pages 24-25.

Researcher Dr Lindvall has shown that moderate overstocking depresses growth rate and feed intake in the ‘learning phase’ immediately post weaning. Photo: Henk Riswick.
Researcher Dr Lindvall has shown that moderate overstocking depresses growth rate and feed intake in the ‘learning phase’ immediately post weaning. Photo: Henk Riswick.

Knowledge feeds success

When an order of pig feed arrives at the farm, producers can access key ingredient data and make calculations quickly and easily with NutriOpt. This goes a long way in helping producers to maximise profits. Pages 26-27.

A smart feed simulation programme eliminates guesswork. Photo: Bart Nijs
A smart feed simulation programme eliminates guesswork. Photo: Bart Nijs

Tackling post-weaning diarrhoea

A 3-pronged approach in the fight against post-weaning diarrhoea includes the use of undigestible fibre and inflammation biomarkers, as well as adhering to a total health plan. Pages 28-29.

Nutrition should be integrated into an overall health strategy. Photo: Gwenael Saliou
Nutrition should be integrated into an overall health strategy. Photo: Gwenael Saliou

Combining strategies to replace zinc

It is becoming clear that zinc cannot be replaced by a single product and that a combination of strategies is needed. Page 31-32.

Not only is zinc involved in protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, but it is also important for skin and wound healing. Photo: Framelco
Not only is zinc involved in protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, but it is also important for skin and wound healing. Photo: Framelco

A column all about udders

In the first of a 2-part series, columnist John Gadd discusses mastitis, metritis and agalactia as well as farrowing stress in pigs on page 17.

To view these articles and other editions of Pig Progress online, simply click on the digital magazine section and then on Pig Progress 2019-10 to view this edition. Registration is free.