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The importance of Omega 3 for the best start in life

Sam Bradley, Pig Technical & Commercial Advisor, supporting Farmgate Feeds outlines how utilising Omega 3 supports pigs’ health and growth.

The UK pig sector has been under enormous pressure from multiple angles over the recent months and years, with the latest challenge coming from rocketing feed prices as the situation in Ukraine and Russia plays havoc on the global raw material markets. Although times are challenging, the industry is rallying together ensuring that we focus on what we can to achieve the best possible results. Nutrition plays an important part in this, and even though it is one of the biggest investments in pig production, the right nutrition will support your pig’s healthy growth and enhance their performance.

So, what are the essential nutrients to support healthy growth for your pigs? The importance and impact of supplementing diets with Omega 3 have been heavily discussed and researched for some time. Omega 3 is the name given to the family of unsaturated fatty acids. It’s vital to include Omega 3 as part of a well-balanced diet as pigs can’t produce it by themselves.

Omega 3 has a positive impact on pig fertility and will encourage your piglet’s strong health long before they are born. Without sufficient Omega 3, the potential number of piglets born may not be reached and sows can deliver piglets of variable weights, less viable piglets with a slower growth rate and piglets that are more susceptible to disease.

Farmgate Omega 3
Omega 3 has a positive impact on pig fertility and will encourage your piglet’s strong health long before they are born.

Optimising sow nutrition during late gestation and throughout the transition period can boost the key proteins found in the sow’s colostrum. Good quality colostrum will kick start the piglet’s immune system and helps to prevent disease susceptibility. Continuing supply of Omega 3 throughout the lactation period will also ensure the piglets grow steadily and healthily.

It is well documented that Omega 3 improves embryo development as well as sow’s milk quality. This, in turn, leads to increased litter size, heavier birthweights, heavier weaning weights, less mortality and overall healthier and more viable piglets.

Farmgate Feeds’ Sow and Weaner range offers two highly palatable products to suit all feeding regimes. With added Omega 3, these diets ensure good milk production, which supports well-grown healthy piglets. Like humans, you should try and feed your pigs to a set routine, so unless you are using ad-lib feeders, feed them twice a day, morning and afternoon.

By encouraging a strong start and a healthy weaning weight, a more efficient growth and feed conversion will occur post-weaning, supported by a finely balanced rearer feed from around 8 weeks of age.

Tailoring a pig’s diet to their different life stages and requirements is the most cost-effective strategy for producers. No matter the size of your business, your pigs still require the same nutritional attention and by focusing on it you will be supporting healthy growth rates and the best possible returns.

The Farmgate Smallholder range of feed is backed by the same nutritional expertise and experience, which larger farmers and producers have trusted and relied upon for many years.  Farmgate use only the very best raw ingredients, balanced with essential nutrients. With its unique combination of Omega 3, fat soluble vitamins and fibre, Farmgate Feeds Sow & Weaner range will boost your pigs’ development now and for the future.