Formulating swine rations
This article discusses feed rations and formulations
Feed costs represent 55 to 70 percent of the cost of producing hogs.
Therefore, close attention to nutrition should carry a very high priority. This includes formulation of swine rations utilizing the most accurate information available.
The major goal of a nutritionist or a pork producer in a swine feeding programme should be to supply at a feasible cost the nutrients needed at the right time in the animal's life.
The feed ingredients needed can be divided into five general groups.
Energy -- Carbohydrates of cereal grains such as corn, sorghum grain, wheat and barley supply most of the energy in swine rations. Energy may also come from fats, oils, and protein. Energy is usually expressed as Digestible Energy (DE) or Metabolizable Energy (ME).
Protein--Part of the protein in a swine ration will come from cereal grains. However, the protein of cereal grains is of rather poor quality for swine as a result of the low content of certain essential amino acids such as Iysine, threonine, tryptophan, and methionine. This necessitates the addition of a high quality protein supplement such as soybean meal, peanut meal, milk byproducts, meat and bone meal, or others. Soybean meal is usually the most feasible supplement to use for swine rations.
Minerals--Most swine rations need supplemental sources of minerals. Cereal grains are especially low in calcium and are only a fair source of phosphorus, since much of the phosphorus in cereal grains is unavailable to the pig. Swine rations based largely on cereal grains and soybean meal need supplementation of both of these minerals.
Vitamins -- Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin pantothenic acid, choline, and Vitamin B12 are the vitamins that normally need to be supplemented to a swine ration.
A table is provided showing nutritional levels for pigs at various weights or ages.
The article also provides a table detailing the metabolisable energy, protein, calcium and phosphorus content in the various kinds of feed grains. Grains include soymeal, oats and wheat bran and alfafa.
The article also gives a formulation procedure where there is a fixed portion and a variable portion and gives examples of feed formulation.
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Article made possible through the contribution of the Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.