|A growing body of science is delivering new insights into just how critically important the immediate post-weaning period is to the full production lifespan of swine and the profitability of swine operations.
The good news is that producers have better knowledge and options than ever before to support the unique needs of young pigs at this vulnerable and crucial stage, including dramatically improved options in feed technology. A leading example is the new latest generation WeanEase enzyme-based feed additive technology, now broadly available from Connect OnFarm, with main offices in Lethbridge, Alberta, and Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
“Everyone wants to see a great finish to the production cycle – top quality market hogs, produced highly efficiently and representing the best in high quality pork,” says Cal Ginter of Connect OnFarm. “But of course, that doesn’t happen on its own. Producers need the right feeding approaches to get the great start needed for a great finish.”
Optimized post-weaning performance
WeanEase is designed to help ensure this happens, says Ginter. “WeanEase is a specialized formulation tailored for starter diets that more of our customers are using and seeing great results with. It is based on natural ingredients that fit well with what consumers and the marketplace are asking for today. It also works great on the farm.”
WeanEase also serves as a valuable tool to support industry trends such as reduced antimicrobials approaches, including raised without antibiotics (RWA) production streams. “We have seen strong interest from farms that are adapting to the new standards on judicious use of antibiotics,” says Ginter. “Whatever your approach this technology is an excellent fit with both the current and future market opportunities.” The product also serves as a valuable option for farms that are looking for alternatives to blood plasma, he adds.
WeanEase features microbial and enzyme supplements tailored for use with young pigs, to break down parts of the diet that otherwise would be indigestible, thereby releasing additional nutrients and energy for use by the animals. It also includes nucleotide rich yeast extract to support overall health and performance of young pigs, along with acidifiers, micro-encapsulated zinc and flavour sweeteners.
“It’s a state-of-the-art product as far as feed technology for the starter phase,” says Ginter. “It has everything needed in a feed additive to build a solid foundation, naturally.”
The science on feeding weaned pigs shows that optimal feeding approaches to support pigs during the starter phase have a major influence on future performance. “The key thing we’re learning is that if you don’t maximize the potential during the starter phase, you can’t make it up later on in the production cycle – the chance is gone,” says Ginter.
“Basically you end up leaving significant dollars on the table. On the other hand, if you optimize the feeding approach during this phase, you not only see very good results short term but you carry those gains through all future stages. That’s why our customers see using feed technology such as WeanEase as a way to ‘lock-in’ maximum potential.”
A further key advantage of WeanEase is that the product promotes feed intake, says Ginter. “This obviously is really critical to help the pigs make the transition to post weaning and get into strong daily gains and good habits right away. The product really covers all the bases – it gets the pigs on feed right away, promotes feed intake, enhances intestinal health, improves daily gain and feed efficiency, and helps control odour in the barn. It’s good for the animals and good for production.”
Sample data and more information on WeanEase is available on request by contacting the Connect OnFarm office. Connect OnFarm is a company built on serving producers and helping farming operations become more profitable, innovative and sustainable, through a range of services and products based around nutrition programs for livestock.