Extruded feed makes piglets grow faster

31-01-2007 | |

The use of expanded pig feed with added vitamins and enzymes created by a special kind of coater results in a 4% improvement in feed conversion and a 4.4% better growth rate of piglets.

This conclusion was drawn from recent studies in the Netherlands, obtained after using the Pegasus vacuum coater (VC) from Dutch company Dinnissen Process Technology.

Originally designed as a system for injecting liquids into pellets, the Pegasus VC developed into a technology for producing pellets and extruded products.

A Dutch feed manufacturer cooperated with Dinnissen, to improve the results obtained from various pig feeds using the Pegasus VC.

Unique application

The application is unique and has never been used before in the production process for pig feed. The challenge was to improve digestibility of expanded feed and to add vitamins and enzymes as accurately as possible after the expansion process to ensure their full activity.

Vitamins and enzymes were injected into the core of the pellet and the pellets were then coated with a thin protective layer to improve pellet quality and minimise abrasion during transport.

Piglet study

A study with 500 piglets at three different farms was carried out with piglet feed which had been upgraded via the Pegasus VC. During and after the trials feed conversion (FCR), average daily growth, pig health & uniformity, feed intake and consistency of the faeces were calculated or measured.

Piglets started the trial at an average weight of 7 to 8 kg and were fed weanling feed for five days followed by the new expanded feed for three weeks. A control group received regular feed without the expanding and vacuum coating treatment.

Better growth

Results showed that there were no differences in feed intake, but that the pigs fed the new feed expressed better growth, had less diarrhoea problems, and needed less medication.

This was due to a better utilisation of vitamins and enzymes. There was less feed waste and faeces showed a firmer consistency. The pig farmers noted that the trial group had a healthier colour and more hair than the control group.


The final conclusion that could be drawn from the study was that piglets fed the new type of feed, produced with expander and Pegasus VC, showed a 4% improvement in feed conversion and a 4.4% improvement in growth.

Related website:
• Dinnissen Process Technology

For the latest pig news, subscribe here