What's going on

ABN Holding Diet

The effects of Covid-19 are now being shown in UK abattoirs where the number of animals able to be slaughtered is being widely reduced. This can have a significant financial impact on the producer due to the extra feed required during the longer period on-farm and the potential for a reduction in carcass value.

Methods to try and reduce the growth rate of the finishing pig through nutrition have been examined, particularly in the USA where the problem was first highlighted. It is generally recognised that pigs will tend to eat and maintain their energy intake, thus growth rate can be maintained over a wide range of energy levels. However, high fibre diets are believed to increase and maintain the feeling of satiety over a longer period of time with a resultant reduction in feed intake and hence growth. Inevitably, a higher fibre, lower energy diet will increase the feed conversion ration and therefore increase feed cost. 

This effect was shown in the work of Liu et al. (2007) where the animals were offered a high, medium and low energy diet. Intake was increased on the medium diet and growth rate was maintained but FCR was increased. When the energy level was reduced further, intake was controlled, gain was reduced and FCR was increased further (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Effect of energy level on performance

Holding Diet

(Liu, et al., 2007)

It is therefore a balance between increased feed cost and the reduction in the value of the pig. 

At ABN we have been working hard to develop a holding diet which is now available to help reduce the growth of pigs that have unfortunately been rolled due to the impact of COVID-19 controls at UK abattoirs. This approach may help reduce the percentage of pigs that exceed the terms of the contract, but it is a balance between increased feed cost and improved financial return. Our commercial team will be pleased to assist with any further information.

This website uses cookies, if you'd like to know more about these cookies here's our cookie policy.

I accept cookies