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Liquid feeding could save 5p a kilo

by 5m Editor
4 June 2003, at 12:00am

UK - Early results from the 31.8 million Defra/MLC-funded research programme on liquid feeding at Stotfold indicate savings of as much as 5p/kg deadweight.

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Also involved in the research are the universities of Nottingham, Newcastle and Plymouth, Scottish Agricultural College, Roslin Institute, Silsoe Research Institute and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

They are looking at performance and costs of production, and also at health, welfare, environmental impact, food safety and meat quality.

MLC pig technical manager Dr Pinder Gill said: "The main objective of the first production trial at Stotfold, was the comparison of liquid versus dry feeding, in fully-slatted and straw-based based accommodation. The first results showed the growth rate, feed conversion ratio and gut health was significantly better in liquid fed pigs."

With liquid feeding, compared with dry, overall growth rate was more than 40g/pig/day better. These benefits were seen in both fully-slatted and straw-based systems.

An important element of the work was to assess carcase quality: there was no notable difference between liquid and dry-fed pigs.

A saving of up to 5p per kg dwt was seen for liquid-fed pigs in the straw-based system.

The second trial in the programme at Stotfold is an evaluation of true phase feeding. This study is now nearing completion. Further trials in the programme will include a look at fermentation, which could also improve financial performance.

This research is an element of Bpex's Road to Recovery strategy, which has a target of a 15p per kg dwt cut in production costs.

Source: National Pig Association - By Digby Scott - 4th June 2003

5m Editor