Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems
Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems

Application of a precision feeding program in growing pigs: effect on performance and nutrient use

Authors: 
Brossard L., Marcon M., Dourmad J.Y., van Milgen J., Pomar J., Lopez V., Quiniou N.
Publication date: 
26 August 2019
Full title: 
Application of a precision feeding program in growing pigs: effect on performance and nutrient use
Publishing information: 
70th Annual meeting of the EAAP, 26-30 August 2019, Ghent, Belgium
Abstract: 

Improvement of feed efficiency in growing pigs is a key issue for the economic and environmental sustainability of livestock production. This can be achieved with novel techniques such as precision feeding (PF). Within the Horizon 2020 EU Feed-a-Gene program (grant agreement n°633531), a decision support system (DSS) was developed to implement precision feeding in commercial pig farms. This study aimed to test the functioning of the DSS in practical conditions and the consequences on performance and nutrient use of growing pigs fed ad libitum. Sixty-four pigs were reared from 77 to 161 days of age (34 to 109 kg body weight, BW) in a single pen equipped with an automatic weighing-sorting system and eight automatic feeders allowing to register feed intake and deliver a tailored blend of two diets (A and B with respectively 1.0 and 0.4 g SID Lysine (Lys)/MJ NE, and 9.7 MJ NE/kg) to individual pigs. Pigs of the control group received a blend providing 0.9 g SID Lysine (Lys)/MJ NE until the average group BW was 65 kg (growing phase) and 0.7 g SID Lys/MJ NE thereafter (finishing phase). For the PF group, the assessment of the SID Lys requirement was performed individually and on a daily basis, based on up to 20 previous records of BW and feed intake. Feed composition was changed accordingly by blending diets A and B in appropriate proportions. Daily feed intake, average daily gain, and feed conversion ratio did not differ between treatments for the overall period or per period. During the growing period, the SID Lys intake and the nitrogen intake and excretion were respectively 10.8, 8.8, and 14.4% lower in the PF group compared to the control group (P<0.05). During the finishing period, these values were only numerically lower (difference <2%; P>0.68). This could result from a slightly higher feed intake (+100 g/d, P=0.24) in PF group combined with a SID Lys supply already low in control group. A second experiment will be performed in the same conditions to confirm the potential of the PF using the developed DSS.

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