Professor advocates fermentable diet for pig quality

Fermentable diets are important to improve piglet quality, which in turn will help wean more pigs from larger litters, says Professor Sandra Edwards.

Speaking at the Bpex Innovation Conference, Edwards claimed pig nutritionists should help producers with advising on feed, from weaning through to the end of pregnancy.

Edwards said: “Fermentable diets, including dextrose or lactose, have been found to produce more mature eggs, higher birthweights, lower birthweight variability and lower mortality.

“We need to feed sows to improve the quality of the placenta and thus the number of embryos implanted. Poorer-quality placentas with poorer nutrient supply to the piglets are also linked to stillborns, which have been found to be longer and thinner.”

She added that other factors that could help included essential fatty acid, DHA, arginine and glutamine supplementation.

Speaking to 180 guests attending the conference, Edwards said it was also important to liaise with the dairy industry about how to tackle this, as it is also vital to ensure sows can produce “the colostrum and milk needed to rear larger litters”, she added.

The conference was aimed at taking a closer look at the “pig buildings of the future” and “Breed+3 – how to wean three more piglets per sow per year”.


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