June 27, 2017

27/06/2017: Why it makes sense using phytogenic feed additives in grower-finisher pigs

by Ester Vinyeta, Species Leader Swine, and Kostas Syriopoulos, CTS Swine, Delacon Biotechnik GmbH, Austria

Phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) comprise a wide range of plants like herbs, spices, and other plant-derived products such as essential oils and oleoresins (Windisch et al., 2008)

Although this kind of feed additive has been known for a long time, its use is not yet as common as feed enzymes or pre- and probiotics. A recent survey on the usage of PFAs published in Sciences & Solutions, Phytogenics (2017) indicates that from a total of 1140 responders (36% poultry producers, nine percent swine producers, 14 percent feed milll operations, 29 percent consultants and 13 percent other), 51 percent are currently using phytogenic feed additives in their feeding programs, being slightly higher in EU (57%) compared to other regions. 

Reducing ammonia emissions of pigs
Image credit: Delacon
Based on the survey, PFAs would be applied in five percent of total worldwide livestock feed tonnage per year. Among several reasons for using PFAs, the main ones are digestibility enhancement, antimicrobial effects linked to AGP replacement strategies, improved FCR and higher feed intake.

Digestibility enhancement, citing the survey means more complete use of feed, resulting in improved feed efficiency and lower emissions that accompany a reduced environmental footprint. This, in turn, is linked to a growth promoting effect and improved FCR.

Furthermore, the survey summarises the main benefits that customers value in PFAs, which were (in decreasing order):

1) Enhanced feed efficiency/better FCR
2) Reduced medicinal costs
3) Enhanced growth (carcass yield)
4) Enhanced reproductive performance
5) Better uniformity
6) Increased feed intake
7) Better meat quality
8) Nutrient-sparing effect
9) Emissions reduction (e.g. ammonia)

Focusing on the phase of growing-finishing pigs (20-115kg BW), which represents 60-70 percent of total cost of pig production, the main reasons why customers might use PFAs and most desired benefits are a digestibility enhancement and an improved FCR (and better meat quality), alongside with simultaneously reduced medicinal costs.

A reduction of emissions is definitely a strong reason in some regions due to environmental concerns. Although the latter arguments have been important in the EU and US for quite some time, it is becoming increasingly important in Latin America as well as North and South East Asia.

Finally, production costs and ROI are always in the spotlight. Effects of Fresta® F as Delacon’s zootechnical additive for piglets with proven effects on performance and piglet homogeneity are not dealt with in this article. Aromex® ME and Aromex® Pro are phytogenic feed additives, fully using synergistic effects of plant-derived active substances. They feature a carefully selected composition of phytogenic active substances, like essential oils and other plant extracts, perfectly aligned to the needs of growing-finishing pigs.

They consist of a blend of microencapsulated essential oils. Delacon added a unique blend of saponins to reduce ammonia and odour emissions accompanying the digestibility enhancement. Moreover, these saponins were shown to increase nutrient transporters on the enterocytes, further improving nutrient digestibility.

To realise the full growth potential of fattening pigs, they need optimal nutrient supply adjusted to their respective phase of life. The combination of active ingredients in Aromex® (ME and Pro) achieves slower passage rates of digesta without negative effects on feed intake.

In combination with a higher nutrient uptake as well as an enhanced utilisation and retention of dietary energy and protein supplies, this will lead to an increased animal growth, and thus, to a higher profitability.

Furthermore, the additives enhance stress tolerance due to the high antioxidant power of the used plant ingredients. Moreover, Aromex® Pro contributes to an inhibition of ammonia formation, which arises in the course of pig fattening.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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