1-877-625-4400 info@grandvalley.com
By: Emily Miller, Ph.D.
Monogastric On-Farm Technology and Product Performance Specialist
Grand Valley Fortifiers
To provide the best solutions for our customers, Grand Valley Fortifiers continually runs trials in the nursery phase. We do this to fine tune the recommendations for our feeding programs, test new products, or even try out new ingredients. Nursery pig nutrition is an important area of focus as the pig weight coming (in and) out of the nursery is predictive of lifetime performance. When considering the feeds available for nursery pigs, there can be many choices. In addition to choosing a feeding program that fits well for the piglets, it is also important to consider what makes sense given the space available for feed storage, how much is needed per batch of pigs (early feeds have a small feed budget), and the cost. With our BioForce® product line of complete nursery feeds, we wanted to drill down on the feeds and budgets used from weaning to 9 kg, where Initiate™ and Propel™ are currently recommended.
In a trial conducted with 550 weaned pigs, we trialed our standard nursery budget of BioForce® Initiate and BioForce® Propel vs. skipping the first nursery feed, BioForce® Initiate, and allocating more of the second nursery feed, BioForce® Propel, in our simplified budget Table 1. Once the pigs were approximately 9 kg, they were all switched to BioForce® 180 and followed the same feed budgets between the two groups until the trial finished. The trial ran for 42 days, with technical and economic performance in Table 2.
Table 1: Simplified vs. Standard Feed Budget

Table 1. Simplified vs. Standard Feed Budget

Table 2: Technical and Economic Results

Table 2. Technical and Economic Results
*Margin Over Feed Cost=($3 per kg feeder pig gain feeder pig)-feedcost

As can be seen in the data above, there was no difference in performance between the pigs given the Simplified or Standard nursery program. The pigs receiving the Simplified budget had slightly higher total feed cost (due to slightly higher overall feed intake), but the feed cost per kg of gain and margin over feed cost was the same for both groups. It is also important to highlight the exceptional nursery performance across both groups, with >580 g/d ADG and ≤1.45 feed conversion ratio.

When considering the performance based on the Standard and Simplified budgets, the start weight of the trial (7.55 kg across both groups) should also be considered. BioForce® Initiate is recommended for pigs between 5.5 and 7 kgs, followed by BioForce® Propel from 7 to 9 kgs. This trial supported those recommendations and if you are raising weaned pigs that start at 7 kg and heavier, you could consider starting the nursery feeding program with BioForce® Propel®, which also allows for one less type of feed to manage on your farm. This trial is a great example of continuous evaluation of the nursery feeding programs at Grand Valley Fortifiers. Each trial gives us more insight and allows us to make improvements to our feeding programs, with the ultimate goal of improving the performance and profitability of our customers’ operations. We do recognize that every farm is different, and conditions can even vary from batch to batch, highlighting the importance of continuous data generation and product evaluation. If you would like to learn more about running trials on your farm or sharing data with us, please reach out to support@onfarmbi.com or your Swine Specialist!

Would you like more information about the nursery feeding programs available from Grand Valley Fortifiers?
Contact us today by calling: 1-877-625-4400 or 519-621-4400

This article was written for the Summer 2024 Swine Grist. To read the whole Swine Grist, click the button below.