Profitability in piglet production depends on reproductive performance of the sow and on the growth performance of the piglet. One piglet per litter more will increase the contribution margin per sow and year by rough €100.
While there have been many studies describing the benefits of organic acids in piglet nutrition, their use in sows is less established. Recent trials in Russia now show that the application of the acid blend CaPlus ME increases both sow and piglet performance.
Acids and their salts are preservative agents in animal feed and act as stabilisers for the digestive system. There are several roles and impacts that organic acids may have in the animal. Organic acids work by reducing the pH value and the buffering capacity of the feed. The antimicrobial effect of acids will contribute to a healthy gut flora and some acids can act as energy sources for the animal or the gut epithelial wall. Since not all organic acids have the same properties, it is essential to combine active principles to create an effective synergism between them. In CaPlus ME, the acids have been cleverly combined to utilise all their benefits and provide a larger spectrum of activity than the single acids alone.
Some of the components in CaPlus ME are present in microencapsulated form; they remain effective throughout the digestive tract. Rather than being entirely digested in the stomach, some active ingredients in the acid complex are not released until they reach prececal or ileal level (Piva et al. 2007). This continuous release mechanism optimises the mode of action of the acids in the corresponding section of the digestive tract, thereby increasing the effectiveness of acids used in pig production.
The effect of CaPlus ME in feed on the reproductive performance of sows was investigated in a trial conducted at a practical farm in Belgorod, Russia. 36 sows were divided into three feeding groups. One standard ration with no acid supplement (control) and two different doses of CaPlus ME were tested.
In both treatment groups, the number of piglets born alive was increased. A dosage of 3 kg/t feed of CaPlus ME increased the litter size per sow by 0.7 piglets and the number of weaned piglets by one. The development of the piglets also improved. Due to a higher daily weight gain during the lactation phase compared to the control, the weaned piglets were heavier in both treatment groups. CaPlus ME therefore proves to be an efficient tool to increase productivity in sow nutrition.
Not just the sows benefited from CaPlus ME. In a continuation of the trial, the weaned piglets also received either 0.1 % or 0.3 % CaPlus ME and subsequently showed increased growth rates by 6.1 % and 8.3 % compared to the negative control.
The key target in successful piglet production must be to increase reproductive performance of the sows and the growth performance of the piglets. The application of CaPlus helps the farmer to achieve these goals and increase his profits.