Using a nutrient absorption enhancer like Lysoforte Extend can support piglet performance by increasing feed efficiency and the incidence and severity of post-weaning diarrhoea.
The post weaning period for piglets has always been challenging, with variable performance often observed as young piglets adapt to life away from the sow. The rapid change in diet and environment comes at a time when the piglet’s digestive system is still immature and producing far lower levels of gastric enzymes than its adult counterpart. Hence, the ability of piglets to optimally digest nutrients is still insufficient, leading to undigested substrate in the hindgut that causes proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and subsequent diarrhoea.
The combination of environmental and physiological stress can be self-perpetuating, with diarrhoea further reducing nutrient absorption and poorer digestibility leading to even more undigested substrate in the hindgut. It is therefore not surprising that performance can be highly variable after weaning, which may increase the number of days required to produce piglets large enough to move on to the grower phase, in addition to the quantity of feed required for it.
Given that, in addition feed as such accounts for the largest share of production expenses, raw material costs continue to remain high due to the geopolitical uncertainty, and the knowledge around 25% of nutrients – known as antinutritional factors – cannot be effectively digested by the animal and are thus excreted and essentially wasted, achieving profitable production is more challenging than ever before.
This all makes providing adequate nutritional support – read a maximum digestible diet at optimal cost- for the piglet during this critical transition period extremely important. Improving feed efficiency, even just a little, at any given feed price, can already significantly improve production profitability.
Lysoforte Extend (LEX) is a unique Nutrient Absorption Enhancer (NAE) which combines the benefits of 3 specifically selected active ingredients, lysophospholipids, monoglycerides and a synthetic emulsifier, in a well- defined, synergistic ratio. It is designed to get more potential from your feed, through increasing the uptake of dietary nutrients via improving the whole digestive process of the fat matrix: the emulsification, the hydrolysis and ultimate absorption of fatty acids through the intestinal wall. Although primarily active on dietary lipids, supplementation of LEX has also consistently shown to improve the digestibility of other valuable lipophilic nutrients such as crude protein, various amino acids, and fibre. Whilst this is still to be fully elucidated, this suggests that because of optimising lipid digestion, the encapsulating effect of fats is removed, facilitating better access to nutrients for both endogenous and exogenous gastric enzymes.
Scientific and commercial studies have shown the use of LEX in weaned piglets thus can significantly enhance growth performance and feed efficiency. Maximising nutrient digestibility on the other hand though also implies less undigested substrate enters the hindgut, reducing bacterial proliferation which minimises the risk on gut disorders and diarrhoea. Therefore in 2022 a university study was initiated to assess the benefit of supplementing LEX at 500 and 750g/t piglet feed on piglet performance, feed efficiency and faecal consistency, in comparison to a negative, un-supplemented control. Findings showed a significantly improved cumulative average daily gain and reduced FCR compared to the non-LEX fed piglets, due to a significantly increased digestibility of protein, fat and fibre, and in addition also a significantly improved faecal consistency with reduced incidence and severity of post-weaning diarrhoea. Evaluating the economic implications, the investment of LEX was easily covered by the increase in profitability from higher piglet weights and reduced feed requirements, with an overall return on investment achieved of up to 125 (Figure 1).
Figure 1- Profitability in euro gain per piglet after feed costs accounted for.
Overall, these positive effects result in a higher production efficiency, potentially less need for veterinary intervention and ultimately a total increased production profitability. In summary, the use of Lysoforte Extend, a true Nutrient Absorption Enhancer, can provide a valuable nutritional strategy to significantly support piglet performance through increasing feed efficiency and the incidence and severity of post-weaning diarrhoea.