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Harper Adams-ForFarmers trials highlight potential of modern genotype

Sector News Sector News19-6-2020
Afbeelding: Charlotte Evans

ForFarmers’ Dr Charlotte Evans explains how lower density starter diets can deliver improved lifetime performance.

Feeding lower density starter diets doesn’t necessarily equate to lower performance when it comes to overall health, growth and feed efficiency, according to ForFarmers national pig technical advisor Dr Charlotte Evans (pictured). 

In many cases where high health, higher intake genotypes are being fed, within a low pathogen environment, a lower density diet may provide the best nutritional solution. There are also instances where the removal of zinc (when not required) has led to higher feed intakes, she said.

Despite removing zinc from its starter diets ahead of the 2022 zinc oxide ban, Harper Adams University’s pig unit has consistently achieved top 10% growth rates.  

The 230-sow farrow-finish unit’s facilities include an indoor crated farrowing system with a milk line and specialist post-weaning accommodation to more easily allow individual weights and pen-level FCR to be monitored up to 40kg.

After the latest re-population, the unit has maintained a high health status and is running with the JSR 9T x JSR Tempo, which is associated with high prolificacy and also higher weaning weights, intake levels and subsequent growth. ForFarmers partnered with it in trial work last year. 

Dr Evans said: “We wanted to demonstrate the impact of feeding lower density diets on high health, highly prolific genotypes, optimise regimes in light of genetic development, and generate more data and insight to help our customers manage the zinc situation; one of the biggest challenges producers are facing.”

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