It’s an increasingly challenging time for pig producers, with the price of raw materials affecting feed prices and understandably making smallholders look at how they can cutback. During difficult times every little detail counts, amongst other factors good quality nutrition will help support the health of your pigs. Opting for a lower quality feed can be counterintuitive by having a detrimental impact on pig performance. When choosing a diet for your pigs, it’s crucial to ensure the best fit to meet the nutrient requirements of the pig’s life stage.
Feeding in line with your pigs age and stage is a key factor to maximise your investment in nutrition. Pigs have distinctive nutritional requirements through the different stages of production and getting this right at each stage will be beneficial as the production cycle develops. Boosting sow nutrition during late gestation and managing transition to lactation will support colostrum and milk production encouraging the best start in life for your piglets. Supporting the young piglet with a strong immune system and a healthy weaning weight will impact their performance positively post weaning. In the finishing stage when aiming to achieve rapid lean growth, the correct diet will support this and encourage the production of lean uniform meat.
Another way to ensure you get the most from your nutritional investment is the application of the feed, we can provide the correct balance of nutrients, but this is only part of the success story. Regular fresh feed, clean troughs and adequate water supply are all vital to maximise impact of the nutrition.
A feed will also have the most effective results when we support the pig’s overall wellbeing by providing stimulation to encourage their healthy growth. Adding interest to their environment helps mimic their natural environment by encouraging rooting, foraging, and exploring. Foraging helps to build an appetite by helping to increase a pigs activity level, which burns calories, keeps body weights in check and promotes the development of lean muscle.
The part of my role I most enjoy is getting out on farm and helping customers to choose the best diet for their individual set-up; visiting customers helps me to understand their goals and challenges, which enables us to develop our offering to meet customers’ needs.
Like many industries, pig producers are having to make difficult decisions and nutrition is not something that they want to compromise on. Our nutrition innovation team utilise extensive research and trials to develop our products providing the best possible diets for our customers.
Farmgate’s brand-new ‘Traditional Grader’ is a later stage finisher diet developed to maximise lean tissue deposition and lower backfat, helping smallholders to optimise their finishing pigs by decreasing days to slaughter whilst encouraging a better final product. It’s formulated to contain a high protein to energy ratio to encourage improved FCR to support smallholders, those with rare breeds or commercial producers.