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Potential, problems and popcorn in Pig Progress 8

The 8th edition of Pig Progress for 2021 is now available online. This edition highlights 5 promising soybean meal alternatives as well as the potential of puffing feed for a young piglet’s immature gastrointestinal tract. Also, American professor, Dr Temple Grandin, shares her thoughts on the “terrible mess” in terms of animal welfare that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused.

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Potential, problems and popcorn in Pig Progress 8

Antibiotic reduction at different speeds

Great strides have been made worldwide to reduce antibiotics. Regional approaches differ, as can be seen in the EU where different member states have had drastically different trajectories towards mitigating antimicrobial resistance. This article by Rebecca Kwakman on pages 7-9 highlights the Netherlands and Spain.

There is a decrease in the sale of veterinary antimicrobial agents in the Netherlands. At this finishing farm, pigs are being raised without antibiotics. - Photo: Herbert Wiggerman
There is a decrease in the sale of veterinary antimicrobial agents in the Netherlands. At this finishing farm, pigs are being raised without antibiotics. - Photo: Herbert Wiggerman

4 tips on how to get better results during farrowing

This article by Edwin Vogels and José Simeone of Nedap on page 10 discusses how performance in the farrowing pen can increase without costing extra labour. The importance of stimulating sow feed intake in the farrowing pen, even on warm days, is emphasised.

By offering feed in small portions (100 g per feeding), it remains fresh and tasty, and the sow is less satiated, stimulating total feed intake. - Photo: Nedap
By offering feed in small portions (100 g per feeding), it remains fresh and tasty, and the sow is less satiated, stimulating total feed intake. - Photo: Nedap

Column: Ripping down silo walls

In this column on page 12, Dr Casey Bradley, president of the Sunswine Group and host of the P3 podcasts, asks: “Have we become too specialised in our skills that we do not have the internal capabilities to anymore to thrive as swine producers?” She believes the geneticist, veterinarian, nutritionist, production manager and accountant all need to work together and “rip down the silo walls.”

Interview with Dr Temple Grandin

Dr Temple Grandin, American scientist, animal behaviourist and professor, shares her views on pages 14-15 regarding the “terrible mess in terms of animal welfare.” In an interview by correspondent Treena Hein she describes the developments as a result of massive capacity reductions caused by physical distancing requirements and by temporary plant shutdowns to stop the spread of Covid-19 transmissions.

Mary Temple Grandin is a prominent proponent for the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter, and she has authored more than 60 scientific papers on animal behaviour. - Photo: Shutterstock
Mary Temple Grandin is a prominent proponent for the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter, and she has authored more than 60 scientific papers on animal behaviour. - Photo: Shutterstock

Enhancing the quality of pork meat

Pork has always been a popular choice of meat, although individual markets determine what exactly counts as high quality. Lipids play an important role in the quality of a cut of pork. This article by Céline Robin of Pancosma on page 16-17 uncovers why.

Lipids are involved in flavour, aroma, tenderness and juiciness or pork. - Photo: Shutterstock
Lipids are involved in flavour, aroma, tenderness and juiciness or pork. - Photo: Shutterstock

Farm visit: “ASF isn’t even our biggest problem”

Bart and Mascha Vennix have worked hard to establish their 4,800 finisher pig farm in eastern Germany. The long working days and substantial investment started paying off when, in September 202, African Swine Fever was detected in wild boar in the state and the farm suffered losses of € 179,000. The couple are, meanwhile, hoping and calling for the re-establishment of a slaughterhouse. Read the feature by Kees van Dooren and Vincent ter Beek on pages 18-20.

New pigs arrive weighing about 25 kg and leave tipping the scales at 120 kg. - Photo: Kees van Dooren and Vincent ter Beek
New pigs arrive weighing about 25 kg and leave tipping the scales at 120 kg. - Photo: Kees van Dooren and Vincent ter Beek

5 promising soybean meal alternatives

The benefits, availability, challenges and outlook of canola meal and other oilseed meals, pulses, insect meal, brewer’s spent grains and single-cell protein are discussed in-depth by correspondent Treena Hein on pages 22-24.

There are few disadvantages for various types of pulses, and portions of crops unsuitable for human consumption have been investigated for over 2 decades as a feed component. - Photo: Hans Prinsen
There are few disadvantages for various types of pulses, and portions of crops unsuitable for human consumption have been investigated for over 2 decades as a feed component. - Photo: Hans Prinsen

Popcorn for piglets – how to enhance digestibility?

At weaning, the young piglet’s gastro-intestinal tract is still immature. Puffing, or pressure cooking, is a relatively expensive procedure widely used for creating human nutrition, but currently this method is not well known in animal nutrition. This sophisticated method, which is explored on pages 27-29 by Qianqian Jiang, Willy Derks and Pierre van Zon of Limagrain, could help make feed ingredients tasty, digestible and suitable for piglets.

Keeping piglets eating during weaning is crucial for their growth. - Photo: Limagrain
Keeping piglets eating during weaning is crucial for their growth. - Photo: Limagrain

Column: An end to the “cage age”?

On page 34, researcher and columnist Irene Camerlink looks at the change in current EU legislation around farm animal housing and how societal opinions need to be considered. However, a single approach cannot be used to phase out farrowing crates and each farm needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

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