The relaxation of animal disease restrictions will help
pig farmers struggling with ever-increasing numbers of
cull sows, but there is still a large backlog to clear.
The cost of feeding cull sows can be a major item of expenditure
but using alternative feeds can help keep costs down says
the British Pig Executive (BPEX) but it is not a case of
just switching feed.
Potatoes, carrots, sugar beet, silage and fodder beet
can all be used but nutritional balance and other factors
must be taken into account. To get the nutritional value
of 1kg of concentrates, 6kg of potatoes would have to be
These are heavy and bulky so producers would need to think
how they were going to be fed. It may also mean using concentrates
at the start of the day and potatoes at the end to get
the correct balance.
BPEX Knowledge Transfer Manager Angela Cliff said: "It
is a matter of quality and balance. The nutrients being
fed must be properly calculated and other adjustments may
well be necessary to make sure the sows are receiving the
correct vitamins and minerals.
"As long as all this is borne in mind, it does have
the potential to ease the cost of feeding cull sows in
this difficult time."
Copies of a handbook giving details of the nutritional
value of a range of alternative feeds by Prof Sandra Edwards
of Newcastle University can be obtained by contacting members
of the BPEX KT Team.
Contact details for the KT team are available on the BPEX
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