Bpex workshop looks at reducing pig feed costs

Reducing feed costs in the pig meat sector was one of the topics discussed in a live online workshop run by Bpex this week.

According to nutritionist Dr Steve Jagger from ABN, who was speaking at the conference, creep feeding is one of several effective ways of reducing overall feed costs. He said: “Starter feed for pre-weaning piglets is a small proportion of all feed costs at 4% and the improved growth post-weaning means it is well worth it.

“One trial showed that piglets eating 4.55kg each of starter feed are worth £1.21 more per pig, as margin over feed, than piglets eating just 3.89kg each.”

Jagger explained that the trial showed there could be an overall saving of £266 per tonne on the overall feed cost because the conversion efficiency, growth rate and value at slaughter were all improved.

He added: “It is important to know the growth curve for your particular unit. For, example, there are major differences in dietary requirements in the late finishing stage, especially when taking pigs to higher slaughter weights, so producers could consider a late finishing diet.

“We should also be feeding pigs according to current, achieved performance at each stage. High specification diets can have a lot higher potential than is actually being achieved. Once you’ve assessed requirements you can adjust the feeding programme, try an alternative diet or maybe increase the number of diets. The aim is to reduce oversupply of nutrients to therefore reduce feed costs and improve efficiency.”

Related News:

>Higher pork prices prompt analysts lowering Cranswick

>Tesco invests in UK beef and pork farmers

>Bpex releases feed cost report

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