Nutrition for Pigs – Feeding Pigs Correctly – Feed is the biggest cost factor in pig production and can amount to 60 to 80 % of the total cost of production.
Correctly fed pigs will ensure:
●efficient reproduction and growth
●efficient feed utilisation
●maximum profit for the farmer.
Pigs must, therefore, be fed the correct quantity of the right feed mixture. The nutrient requirements, especially digestible energy and protein, of the various production classes, differ. Nutrition for Pigs
These production classes include
●boars and pregnant sows
●sows with piglets
●young pigs, three to 10 weeks old
●growing pigs up to slaughter at a live weight of 60 or 90 kg.
Feed mixtures can either be bought or the farmer can mix them himself. The latter is less expensive but it is important to consult an expert on how to mix the feedstuffs that have to be included in the mixtures for each of the production classes. The various feedstuffs must be weighed off correctly before mixing. Feed mixtures for each of the pig classes must contain the right quantities of the following nutrients, namely:
●digestible energy (DE)
Four different mixtures must be used.
Feed sources Grains
●Grain constitutes between 55 and 70 % of the total feed mixture.
●The grain in a mixture provides mainly energy (between 60 and 80 % of the total DE in the mixture).
●Although grain is mainly an energy source with low protein content, it also contributes substantially (30 to 60 %) to the protein content of the mixture.
●Maize is used as a grain source in pig feeds because it is high in DE and low in protein and therefore used mainly as an energy source.
●Grain sorghum has a nutritional value similar to that of maize. Provided sweet sorghum (low tannin) varieties are used, sorghum can be substituted for maize on an equal basis in feed mixtures.
●Feed-grade wheat, when available at a cost not exceeding 20 % above that of maize, can also be used.
The protein content of wheat is usually higher and the DE content lower than that of maize. Using wheat in stead of maize in feed mixtures could lead to considerable savings in protein costs. Wheat must always be coarsely ground when used for Nutritionfeeding pigs.
●Barley is included mainly as a grain source in the Western Cape. It has a higher fibre content and lower digestible-energy content than other grain types. Barley should not comprise more than 70 % of the grain component of a mixture.
●Oats can be used but not more than 40 % should be included in mixtures for growing pigs and 60 % or less in mixtures for finishing pigs. Grain by-productsGrain by-products such as wheat bran, maize bran, maize leaves, maize-stalks and maize-cobs are used to dilute the DE content of the mixture. Brans has a protein content higher than that of grains and are also relatively inexpensive.
●Wheat bran is the most popular DE diluent used in pig feeds. It is usually cost effective and has a laxative effect in pigs. When seasonal shortages occur, other diluents such as maize bran, maize leaves, maize-stalks, maize-cobs and lucerne can be used.
●Hominy chop, a by-product from the maize-milling industry, can be used when available at a reasonable price. It is a product that can vary a great deal depending on the miller it is bought from. It is higher in fat content than maize and can be used as a partial replacement for maize.
Plant protein sourcesOilcake mealsSoya-bean oilcake meal and sunflower oilcake meal are plant protein feedstuffs usually included in pig feed mixtures. Soya-bean oilcake is of a higher and better quality protein and contains considerably less fibre than sunflower oilcake.
Full-fat oilseeds – Nutrition for Pigs – Feeding Pigs Correctly
●Full-fat soya-bean and sunflower seed meals have a high oil content. The oil results in soft fat in pig carcasses. Therefore, the inclusion of these two feedstuffs, if fed in combination with maize, must be limited in rations for finishing pigs. Full-fat soya-beans must be heat treated before use to destroy a substance (trypsin inhibitor) which reduces the growth rate of pigs.Lucerne
●Lucerne is also used as a DE diluent in pig feed mixtures. It has a high fibre and low DE content. Therefore, the inclusion of lucerne in feed mixtures for pigs must be limited. Lucerne also varies much in composition depending on the growth stage when cut, and on the extent of leaf loss during drying and baling. Animal protein sources By-products of the animal and fishing industry can be used as animal protein sources for pigs.FishmealFishmeal is the most frequently used and best protein source to include in feed mixtures. It also has a high DE contenPM]NutritionBlood and carcass meal
●Bloodmeal has a very high nutritional value. Do not, however, use more than a maximum of 5 % in feed mixtures because it is unpalatable. It becomes burnt easily during processing, which has a detrimental effect on the quality of the proteins.
●Carcass meal can vary a great deal in composition and quality because manufacturers use different products and processing methods. Heat damage during processing can downgrade the quality of the proteins in carcass meal.
Calcium and phosphorus sources – Nutrition for Pigs – Feeding Pigs Correctly
●Feed lime is a good calcium source and is not very expensive, but it contains no phosphate.
●Monocalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate and bonemeal are usually included as sources of phosphate. These sources also contain calcium, but in smaller quantities than feed lime.
Waste products in pig feed mixtures
Waste products must be used with great caution in pig rations.
●Kitchen refuse and byproducts from the bakery and other food-processing industries may contain toxic substances such as excessive quantities of salt and other additives which can be harmful to pigs.
●Even hard objects such as pieces of broken glass, which can injure the pigs, are sometimes found in waste products.
●These products are usually high in moisture (water) content and therefore have a very low nutritional value when fed in a wet form.
●Only use waste products in an air-dry form.
●Use a flat cemented area in the sun for drying the waste.
●Remove any undesirable material from the waste when it is spread out on the cemented area. After drying, grind the waste in a hammermill. The milled meal can then be used to replace part of the mealie meal when mixing pig rations.
●Before using the waste-product meal it is advisable to have it analysed for protein, fat, fibre, calcium and phosphate content by an analytical laboratory. Thereafter it is important to get the advice of a pig nutritionist on how much of the dried waste meal must be included in a pig ration. Inclusion levels of feed sources in mixtures Maximum inclusion levels must not be exceeded when mixing feeds for the different pig production classes (see table). The Maximum inclusion level of feed sources for the various pig production classes.
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