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Ethanol By-product a Health Option for More than Six Years

by 5m Editor
3 December 2007, at 11:00am

US - Health is the motivation and why Mission Hill hog farmer Ray Epp is using dry distiller grains (DDGS) in the rations for his 1,200-head pig production operation.

Epp, who uses some of his own corn crop in the ground feed mixture he uses for his hogs, says the use of 10 percent or 20 percent distiller grain ration in his feed has improved the health of his pigs by at least 50 percent. He's been using the by-product for six years.

"It just seems the pigs do better on the distiller grains," Epp says. "They're not sick as often, so I don't have to use as many antibiotics to treat them. I've seen a lot less incidence of hemorrhagic bowel disease which is real common in hogs since I started using the DDGs," he adds.

Reduction of the bowel disease, he says, is a result of the way the distiller grains are digested by the hog. They provide a coating in the bowel that combats the disease.

Epp says that, while the DDGs provide adequate amounts of fat for the hogs' diet, the meat that is produced is leaner.

"That's related to the amount of distiller grains you use. But if you have the right ration, you'll have the leaner meat," he says.

While Epp can't say for certain why more few swine producers in the region are making use of distiller grains, he says cost may be one of the deterrents.

"I know some farmers are a little scared of the price of DDGs," he says. "They've increased, just like everything else. But when I look at the overall production process, I think I'm doing better. I don't have the right feed system here to utilize wet distiller grains."

He sayd that some farrowing producers really like the wet distiller grains because they help milk production and the hogs like them too.

Longtime relationships with commercial feed dealers may also cause hog producers to hesitate to change their feed mix.

"Although a lot of commercial feed companies are starting to realize the benefits of the DDGs, so that could be changing too," Epp says.

Source: Journal.com

5m Editor