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By Kevin Dolan
Nursery Feed Specialist, 
AB Neo (Primary Diets)

As the Canadian swine industry continues to drive towards lower production costs, higher efficiencies, updated housing and later weaning, feeding programs need to continue to adapt as well. Certainly, over the last decade we have witnessed more pigs per litter, later weaning ages, and higher average weaning weights, with bigger weight ranges within those weaning weights. Embracing the realities of this ever changing swine market, the nutrition team at Grand Valley Fortifiers and Fortified Nutrition Limited, in collaboration with the nutritionists at AB Neo in the UK and Spain have updated and simplified the recommended nursery feeding program from the Grand Valley Fortifiers. This update includes the launch two new products, BioForce® Initiate and BioForce® Propel. Recognizing that not all nursery operators have the same nursery performance goals, we are pleased to launch three recommended feeding regimes for conventional producers to consider embracing in their nursery operations.
Producer Priorities BioForce® Initiate & Propel pellets BioSure® Surge & Respond pellets BioForce® Piglet 320 & BioForce® Piglet 180 (on-farm nursery feed)
Feed Cost per tonne $$ $$$ $
Feed Intake +++ +++ ++
Feed Conversion ++ +++ +
Average Daily Gain ++ +++ ++
Nursery Pig Exit Weight ++ +++ +
Feed Budget per Pig $$ $$ $
Cost per kg gain Doesn’t measure Measures & Prioritizes Doesn’t measure

“+” = level of priority for the producer

With the launch of the new BioForce® Initiate and BioForce® Propel, we have taken the opportunity to run several side by side trials with these products both in Ontario and in Manitoba. The following trial summary is indicative of the comparative results that we are achieving with the two recommended pelleted feeding programs (BioForce® and BioSure®) indicated in the table above.
Feeding Program BioSure® Surge & Respond pellets BioForce® Initiate & Propel pellets
# of Pigs In 174 209
# of Pigs Out 174 209
Livability % 100% 100%
Days of Trial 10 10
Weight In (kg/pig) 6.76 6.42
Average Daily Gain (g) 343 274
Feed Consumed (kg/pig) 2.53 2.58
Daily Feed Intake (g) 253 258
Feed Conversion Ratio 0.74 0.94
Feed Cost / Pig (comparison) 100% 85% (15% lower cost / pig)
Feed Used kg / pig 1.03 kg Surge, 1.49 kg Respond 1.05 kg Initiate, 1.53 kg Propel
Margin over feed ($/pig) $5.47 $4.08

Margin over feed = (Weight gain of pig *$3) – Feed cost.

All feeds were medicated with Chlor/Tiamulin

These early results indicate that both the BioSure® and the BioForce® pelleted nursery feeds are performing exactly the way they were designed to perform in the nursery. We are pleased to offer these two recommended early nursery feed programs to producers, allowing them to select which program best suits their nursery feed cost and performance goals. We are also excited to witness the number of producers who are installing internet enabled in-pen scales that allow for the on-going real time tracking of nursery pig growth (please see the related article in this edition of the Grist). We are also hopeful that in the near future, both Fortified Nutrition and Grand Valley Fortifiers will promote a device that hangs over the nursery feeder that is also internet enabled and tracks feed conversion on an ongoing, real time basis. Once these devices are deployed along side of the in-pen scales, producers will have the same information provided in the trial data above, on an on-going basis for their own nursery operation, allowing them to monitor the results and truly understand their cost per kg of gain and margin over feed.

This article was written for the Fall 2023 Eastern Swine Grist. To read the whole Swine Grist, click the button below.