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Livestock Production
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 6:11:53 PM
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Feeding organic pigs

 
Sandra Edwards

 

 

Not all organic feeds are created equal. The main objective in feeding of pigs is to produce piglets from mere breeding animals and subsequently meat from those piglets, with the maximum efficient and profitability.

 

Since feed accounts for 70-80% of the cost of pig meat product, the correct formulation and rationing of feed is of paramount importance to this process. In conventional product, there has been a great deal of research into the nutrient requirements of pigs and the feeding value of the commonly available raw materials, diet formulation and feeding strategies have become extremely sophisticated.

 

Most feeds have been categorized into the following encompassed nutrients:

 

Energy - This is needed for all vital processes (ie. Exercise, thermoregulation (keeping the body warm), growth, reproduction and lactation. Within the UK, it is usually expressed in mega joules of digestible energy (MJ DE), although different measurement systems are used in other countries.

 

Protein - A crucial nutrient needed to repair and replace body tissues, grow lean tissue (meat), reproduce and lactate. Although the crude (total) protein level in a feedstuff can be relevant, what is really important for the pig are the component with amino acids, which ust be supplied in correct balance for the function for which they

are needed. In most situations, the limiting amino acid in pig diets is lysine and, if the level of this is inadequate, excesses of other amino acids cannot be used and are

wasted.

 

Minerals - Needed for growth of different tissues, especially bone, and also for reproduction and lactation. Some of them also play an important role in other physiological processes in the body. The most important are calcium, phosphorus and sodium.

 

Vitamins and trace elements - These nutrients are essential for a multitude of different processes in the functioning of the body. There are many different categories of these, and it is common for a specially prepared supplement, formulated by an expert nutritionist, to be added to the diet to meet all the requirements.

 
 

For more of the article, please click here.

 

Article made possible through the contribution of University of Newcastle.

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