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Researchers Target Increased Piglet Performance Through Improved Diet Formulations
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel - University of Saskatchewan

Farmscape for November 14, 2014

Research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc is expected to help improve the profitability of pork production by ensuring diets formulated for piglets get them off to a good start.
As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Prairie Swine Centre and the Universities of Laval, Guelph, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta have kicked off a three year project which is examining innovative piglet management strategies intended to optimize performance right up to slaughter weight and ensure profitable pork production.
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science with the University of Saskatchewan says, with feed costs representing 60 to 70% of the costs of producing swine, gains made in terms of reducing the cost of feed while improving performance are critical to improved profitability.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-University of Saskatchewan:
The focus here is really on nutritional strategies in piglets, both pre-weaning and post-weaning piglets, and in trying to ensure again efficient utilization of feed and ensuring efficient and healthy growth of those pigs through to slaughter.
Some of those, for example the early pre-weaning diets tend to be very complex diets in order to support a young and developing pig and to ensure the health of those young developing pigs but, as a complex diet, they also require high value ingredients.
One of the major focuses of this research program is to look at both pre-weaning and post-weaning strategies that might reduce the cost of those post-weaning diets and yet carry the health advantage and the production performance through until slaughter.

Dr. Van Kessel says we often see advantages in the early post-weaning period in terms of growth performance and health but it remains a question whether that early advantage carries through to slaughter weight and actually results in improved profitability.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council

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