Profitable results in AGP- free swine production
14 August 2017
There is an increasing worldwide demand for reduction in antibiotic growth promoter usage, as the direct link with antimicrobial resistance has been widely proved. Feed additives via water and feed have proved to increase swine performance and profitability all over the world.
Antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) were introduced several decades ago to optimise the growth rate and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of swine. Their use became popular worldwide, with profitable results, especially when pigs are under challenging conditions.
In 2006 the European Union (EU) banned AGP, although in most countries outside the EU the preventive use of antibiotics is still permitted. The concern behind AGP use is that their use in livestock production can contribute to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
As antimicrobial resistance in animals is related to resistance in humans, the use of AGP represents a major global public health concern. Therefore, there is an increasing trend from governments and retailers to restrict their usage. Furthermore, antibiotic resistance negatively affects animal performance as appropriate diseases treatments, like therapeutic antibiotics, no longer work as effectively as they should, damaging animal health.
Smart strategies for profitable and healthy pigs
With this challenge in mind, Trouw Nutrition performed swine trials in China and North America. The results show that the use of feed additives leads to an improved FCR, presenting a smart strategy for having healthy and profitable pigs without antibiotic growth promoters.
In combination with good farm and health management, feed additives can play a key role in keeping performance without using AGP. By positively affecting the pig’s gut microbiota balance and the gut barrier, feed additives can increase body weight and decrease FCR in AGP-free production systems.
In the Chinese study Selko Presan-FX was tested in weaning pigs. It was found that those piglets gained 30 g more per day during the first week after weaning compared to those fed AGP. The overall result was 800 g more per piglet at four weeks after weaning.
Another important finding was that the animals receiving Presan-FX had better faecal consistency due to the improved gut microbial balance, a meaningful benefit during weaning.
A study in Canada compared the commonly used ionophore– salinomycine with Selko Presan-FX. The result showed that the use of the feed additive did not reduce the profitability. The study on finishing pigs found that the feed additive reduced the FCR, at a similar overall cost per kg of gain.
An integrated approach
On top of the use of feed additives via drinking water and feed, good practices in farm management, such as hygiene, and health management like the vaccination programs are important. The implementation of an integrated approach can help reach optimal benefits on swine production with profitable results in AGP-free environments.
Selko is the feed additives brand of Trouw Nutrition, a Nutreco company. Selko’s portfolio consists of natural feed additive solutions that add value to integrators, feed mills and farmers. Focus areas are feed safety, Salmonella control, gut health in antibiotic-free production systems and trace mineral nutrition solutions. Selko solutions are offered as a complete package consisting of know-how, services and products. The Selko brand encompasses blends of organic acids, organic minerals, betaine and mycotoxin binders. Trouw Nutrition’s global sales organisation commercialises the Selko feed additives brand.
This article is based in TR Presan-FX 29 and TRS Presan-FX 37