Page 4 - April 2018
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SID lysine
intake 42.8 (g/d)
Litter daily
gain 2.04 (kg)
Table 1
187.2 232.9 14.7 17.3 15.5 1.28
Sizing up mortality matters in the US
SID lysine intake (g/d)
Initial weight (kg) Final weight (kg) Initial backfat (mm) Final backfat (mm) Total born
Piglet birth weight (kg)
13.5 16.0 18.5
185.8 187.2 187.0 233.4 236.8 239.1 14.7 14.8 14.8 17.5 17.5 17.5 15.7 15.5 15.6 1.27 1.29 1.28
Probability linear
0.777 <0.001 0.650 0.612 0.993 0.574
behind separating sperm is based on the DNA differ- ence between sperm cells.
X-bearing sperm cells contain slightly more DNA than Y-bearing sperm cells.
According to Fast Ge- netics, as sperm cells flow through the sorter, their proprietary software de- tects the difference be- tween X-bearing and Y- bearing sperm cells.
Sperm cells are then separated based on their DNA difference, resulting in sex-sorted sperm up to 99 percent gender-biased accuracy.
Check levels
University of Illinois researchers investigated the effects of dietary Ca levels at three levels of digestible P on the per- formance of pigs between 50kg and 85kg.
They tested three levels of digestible P (0.14, 0.27 and 0.41 percent STTD P), each at five levels of digestible Ca (0.13, 0.25, 0.38, 0.5 and 0.63 per- cent).
The corresponding total Ca levels were 0.18, 0.38, 0.59, 0.8 and 1 percent, respectively.
The recommended di- gestible P level for grower pigs is 0.27 percent (NRC 2012).
On the low and ade- quate levels of digestible P, growth rate was de- pressed when digestible Ca exceeded 0.25 and 0.38 percent respectively, and pigs fed diets with the lowest P level grew slower at all Ca levels than those fed the P adequate diets. P first
The message – get the P levels correct and watch the Ca: P ratio.
On the higher level of digestible P, pigs grew at similar rates to those fed the adequate diets, but growth rate tended to increase with increasing dietary Ca.
Feed efficiency declined linearly with increasing Ca for pigs fed the low P diet and was largely un- affected for pigs fed the adequate P diet (FCR av- eraged 2.65).
However, feed efficiency improved linearly with in- creasing Ca in pigs fed the higher P diets.
At the two higher Ca levels, the FE of pigs fed the higher P diets (FCR averaged 2.34) was 13-15 percent better than for pigs fed the P adequate diets.
Bone ash increased with each increase in dietary Ca across the three P lev- els but was lower at all levels in pigs fed the low P diet and higher at higher Ca levels for pigs fed the P adequate diets.
The effect of increas- ing Ca in the higher P diets on feed efficiency was quite ‘spectacular’ and may have implica- tions for improving the
feed efficiency of grower and even finisher pigs, but the P and Ca levels used in the study need to be put in context with those used commercially in Australia.
Certainly worth look- ing at.
Sow responses
There were several pres- entations on the responses of lactating sows to lysine and other amino acids and one presentation on the effects of dietary lysine in gestation on reproduction.
I have summarised one on lactation and one on gestation, so you can see where we sit relative to US producers.
We are generally not that far behind and it was obvious at the meetings that reproduction varies across sites in the US, just as it does here.
The best are very good and the average is good but certainly within our reach.
Lysine lactations
Researchers at Carthage, Illinois and PIC used 351 PIC Camborough sows to assess the effects on lactation performance and subsequent reproduction of SID lysine intake over a 23-day lactation.
All sows were to be fed 5.9kg/day and dietary SID lysine levels formulated to achieve five daily SID ly- sine intakes: 49, 57, 65, 73 and 81g/day.
However, sow daily feed intake did not reach the 5.9kg/day planned.
The actual intakes across the five treatments were 5.14, 5.05, 5.2, 5.19 and 5.15kg/day, resulting in SID lysine daily intakes of 42.8, 48.9, 57.4, 64.5 and 71.1, respectively.
There were no differ- ences in wean to oestrus interval, sow weight loss, or subsequent total born across the dietary treat- ments.
Subsequent TB averaged 14.2.
The latter is similar to what many Austral- ian herds are currently achieving.
All litters started with 12.5 piglets and weaned 11.3, which is not that dif- ferent from what some of our better herds are doing.
Litter weight gain, how- ever, improved linearly (P<0.05) with increasing lysine intake (see Table 1).
The researchers com- mented that the lower than expected feed intake could have caused energy intake to be a limiting fac- tor in the study.
Nevertheless, the results clearly demonstrate SID lysine intake drives litter growth and lysine intake can be readily adjusted simply by altering the ly- sine content of the lacta- tion diet.
In addition, a general belief in the US is you only need to concentrate on amino acids in lac-
64.7 71.1
3.16 3.47
I RECENTLY attended the 2018 Midwest Amer- ican Society of Ani- mal Science meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, US.
While there’s not much
to see in Omaha, the meetings were very ac- tive and informative and I have summarised a few highlights for you.
These relate to the ef- fects of dietary phospho- rus and calcium on the performance of grower pigs and the responses of lactating sows and their litters to dietary lysine.
There is some money in the US pork industry, with margins being positive in 2017 ($11.98/pig) and av- eraging $14/pig for the first two months of 2018.
COP in 2018 averaged $US1.28 per kg carcass weight.
The corresponding COP in Australian dollars is $1.69/kg carcass weight.
How the economics of the industry might be af- fected by the raging tariff war with China remains to be seen.
Mortality matters
The issue at the meet- ings was mortality.
They are experiencing problems keeping piglets from large litters alive, with pre-weaning mor- tality of 16 percent and above.
A new problem is sow prolapses and mortality, with herds experiencing up to 20 percent sow mor- tality.
Dean Boyd believes this is related to mycotoxin contamination of soybean meal and corn.
Others think it is a car- ryover from PEDv expe- rienced a couple of years ago.
Regardless, it was the main issue at the meeting. Wean-finish mortality remains at 9-10 percent, so, overall, many animals are being lost through the system, hence the Nation- al Pork Board is investing a lot in trying to resolve
the problem with sows. Also evident during the meetings was the low level of lactation feed in- take reported for gilts and
In some studies, this av-
eraged below 5kg/day and was rarely above 6.2kg/ day, which may support Dean’s contention that sow problems are associ- ated with mycotoxins. Big feedback
General feedback from producers and researchers was big litter size isn’t necessarily an advantage and most would prefer 13 good size pigs born alive than 15 and 15-plus with too many small, non-via- ble piglets.
This is something to keep in mind and hopefully new PIC genomic technology may assist here.
Having said that, the number weaned in most sow presentations was be- tween 11.5 and 13, which we would be happy to achieve.
Sexy semen
I sensed a push towards more efficient AI, with post-cervical AI now ap- proaching 70 percent across the industry and a number of groups investi- gating, or re-investigating, deep uterine AI.
The latter seems to be driven by a desire to use sexed semen.
The sexed semen tech- nology has been devel- oped or revised by Fast Genetics, founded in 1982 by the Fast family in Sas- katchewan, Canada.
The technical principal
tation to minimise body protein loss.
To put the results in con- text, if your sows are eat- ing 6.6kg/day in lactation, the highest lysine intake shown in the table could be achieved with a diet containing 1.07 percent SID lysine.
The amount needed, however, will also depend on birth weight, litter size reared and lactation length.
Lysine gestations
Kansas State Univer- sity researchers studied a commercial sow farm to evaluate the effects of increasing dietary SID ly- sine in gestation on sow growth and piglet birth weight.
A total of 971 females (498 gilts, 138 parity 2 and 335 parity 3-plus sows; Camborough, PIC, Hendersonville, Tennes- see) were group-housed (about 275 females/pen) and individually fed with electronic sow feeders.
Scales were located in the alleyway after the feeding stations where pigs were returning to their pens.
Females were moved from the breeding stall to pens on day four of gesta- tion and were allotted to one of four dietary treat- ments on day five.
Dietary treatments in- cluded increasing SID lysine (11, 13.5, 16 and 18.5g/d).
The herd where the re- search was conducted is one of the best PIC herds in the US.
They use flat feeding from mating to the end of gestation and feed gilts and sows low levels (2.1kg and 2.3kg/day).
At the start of the study, gilts and sows weighed 162kg and 213kg respec- tively.
The corresponding weights at day 214 were 214kg and 222kg.
Total born was 15.3 for gilts and 16 for sows.
The corresponding born alive figures were 14.4 and 15, respectively.
Average piglet birth weights were 1.27kg for gilts and 1.32kg for sows.
They wean 13.3 piglets/ litter across parities at 23 days, but it appears fos- tering is crucial to their success.
Increasing lysine intake through gestation in- creased sow weight but had no effect on piglet birth weight.
The results are summa- rised in Table 2.
Bottom line is the higher lysine levels for gestating gilts and sows will in- crease COP but have lit- tle effect on piglet birth weight and this is a con- sistent message from re- search.
More matters
Other papers of inter- est included one showing that higher dietary amino acid levels reduced the impact of PRRS infection on animal performance, that extruding but not fine grinding mill mix signifi- cantly improves DE and amino acid digestibility and that using amino acid chelated minerals in diets for gilts destined for se- lection from weaning to parity 2 reduces lameness.
I will send a summary of the meetings to you all in the near future.
Table 2: Effects of SID lysine intake through gestation on sow weight, backfat and litter size.
forward thinking
Dave Ahlquist 0419 860 162
Australia’s foremost poultry and milling industry conference is set to return to the Gold Coast in 2018 for the biggest and best event yet!
Page 4 – Australian Pork Newspaper, April 2018

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