Additives for today!

29-08-2011 | |
Dr Ioannis Mavromichalis International consulting nutritionist, Ariston Nutrition, Madrid, Spain

We all like to discuss the kind of products that will be needed in the future. In fact, I have even been invited to a few such ‘think’ groups to offer my two cents (or pennies in UK) of wisdom. But, things are so bad these days (or rather during the last two to three years) that we need solutions delivered yesterday to be used today; there might be no tomorrow otherwise!

I have observed that most producers (meaning, those who pay the feed bill) require no more additives that will bring a return-on-investment (say in six months) or that will improve performance by such percentage, or even solve one of the perennial problems of pig production (such as low feed intake in piglets, etc).

What they are looking for is ways to reduce feed cost. Not cost per kilogram of weight gain, nor cost per unit of energy being fed. They don’t even want to consider the benefits of improving feed efficiency. They just want something they can measure by the time they order the next batch of feed. Something tangible. Say, I add this additive and my feed cost (all other things being equal) is reduced by such amount. This is the kind of desperate advice I have been asked to give, more times than I dare to admit, lately! People have become desperate…

Now, such talk about feed cost would be considered ‘low priority’ during past times, and I have been one pestering everybody to look at cost per kilogram of gain, not cost per kilogram of feed. But, when the bank account is empty or the bank is about to foreclose the farm (and it is not only the small farms that suffer!) it is hardly possible to talk about ‘investments’.

So, given the harsh and unforgiving times we currently experience, my customers and those who contacted me lately have repeatedly asked for things that can reduce feed cost.

What are your experiences?


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