"Cheap" Creep Feed A Dear Buy!

6th January 2012

"Cheap" Creep Feed A Dear Buy!

FEEDING a ‘cheap’ creep ration is an excellent farming example of folk being penny wise and pound foolish. A better quality creep feed can cost an extra £1.49 per pig, but produces a pig weighing an extra 2kg at stage one that goes on to finish faster at less overall cost. This was the key conclusion draw by research nutritionist Dr Marian Scott from on farm trials conducted by Devenish Nutrition.

Addressing a ‘Securing the Future’ seminar for pig producers Dr Scott noted that trials at eight units had revealed considerable on farm variation in performance. Ranking the pig performance achieved by these units at eight weeks old and again at 20 weeks of age produced the very clear conclusion that their relative ranking did not change.

“Farmers investing in a better quality creep feed may have spent more initially, but their return was a saving on feed to slaughter of over £3 a head. A pig lighter at the end of stage one simply cannot make up ground with those on a so called expensive creep feed. Typically they will need an extra 18 days, two and a half weeks, of feeding to slaughter.

“The impact of having faster finishing batches that allow you to put more pigs through your unit each year must be strongly emphasised. For example, comparing two farms, each with 1100 pig places, but ranked at the top and bottom of the pig performance league table another 1,210 pigs were sold by the producer achieving a daily liveweight gain of 670g. He had 3.5 cycles per annum through the unit, but the bottom ranked farm with only a 520g DLWG figure achieved just 2.4 cycles in 12 months.”

“Boosting pig performance through to finishing by choosing a better creep feed in the critical four to eight week stage thus has implications for every aspect of your business. All sorts of options are opened up as regards how your existing investment in housing is used, for example to expand sow numbers or take pigs to a heavier weight.”

Dr Scott added that conclusions drawn from this trial conducted by Devenish Nutrition will help pig producers secure their future in a time of wider economic uncertainty.

“As a business based on innovation, Devenish Nutrition works closely with research scientists at AFBI and Queens University in NI as well as with teams at Harper Adams University College, Newcastle and Dublin universities. The outcome of this ‘Creep Feeding and Lifetime Performance’ trial is just one example of how practical research initiated by Devenish Nutrition helps put profit on the bottom line for pig producers.”

For further details of R & D that can benefit your business please contact Devenish Nutrition Ltd, tel; (028) 9075 5566, email info@devenishnutrition.com or visit our Research Development Page.

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