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Sow feed: Danish pig producer saves 100 kilos per sow

A new strategy for the sow feed

The family business, Kjær Knudsen, run six sow farms with more than 9.000 sows in the South of Denmark and East Denmark. The three farms situated in the South of Denmark was acquired in 2019 and run by director Jonas Juhl.

A need for more stability in the sow herd consisting of 4,000 sows was the driver for the decision to implement the functional protein EP199 in the sow feed:

” We were aiming to reduce the mortality for our sows, and we wanted a more active sow in the farrowing section, which could produce more milk for the suckling piglets”.

The sow farms Gråbjerggard, Grøndal and Højgaard, changed their sow feed strategy in the spring of 2020 and added EP199 first to the gestation feed and after three months to the lactation feed. The fermented rapeseed and seaweed feed replaced soy protein by 6% in the gestation feed and 9% in the lactation feed.

One of the most crucial production parameters for Jonas Juhl is to maintain a competitive production price on the piglet. Consequently, the increased spending of 25 EUR extra in sow feed per sow per year needed to earn its value back and then some.   

” We have used EP199 in the sow feed through a year, and it has indeed been a game-changer”, says the director when asked about the many changes after feeding EP199.

Advantages of a new sow feed 

According to the director, EP199 has several positive effects on the feed quality, the productivity of the sows and reproduction.

A stable liquid feed

At Gråbjerggard, the sows feed on liquid feed, and the so-called “soup” is easier to control than before, says Jonas:

“We have far less yeast in our liquid feed, and we have a much more stable PH-level. The sows have more appetite, and they seek the trough more actively”.

 

Better milk production

At the same time, milk production has been boosted:

” The sows have far more milk, and we see that the piglets weigh up to a kilo more at weaning. It has increased the number of weaned piglets per weaning significantly. The frequency of diarrhoea in the farrowing section has dropped”, Jonas continues.

The sow feed helps with more uniform and vital suckling piglets

“Our piglets are much more uniform – the tiny piglet is gone, and the huge one is gone. The newborn piglets are much more vital and seek milk from the beginning. We succeeded in maintaining a mortality rate in the farrowing section of only 8% throughout a whole year.”

Less sow feed but better yield

The progress is a result of highly skilled farmworkers, who make a great effort every single day to increase the survival rate, but one thing, in particular, is attributed to the use of EP199:

” The sows need 100 kilos of sow feed less yearly, which we attribute to the use of EP199″, says the director when asked about the feed consumption at 1,253 kilos of sow feed per sow per year.

The fermented complementary protein helps the sow to utilize the sow feed more efficiently. The improved utilization can be registered in lower overall feed consumption or as steady consumption but reduced per piglet produced, as the number of weaned piglets increase per sow.

Four more weaned piglets 

The previous six months, the sow farm Gråbjerggard has weaned four piglets more per sow per year – a production results, Jonas is very pleased with:

” In the company Kjær Knudsen we have chosen to implement EP199 in the gestation and lactation feed on three more farms in Eastern Denmark”, says Jonas and recommends that other pig producers start using the EP199 as well:

Based on our experiences, I can highly recommend it to the rest of you”.

Table of results-100-kilos-less-sow-feed

Getting started with EP199 in your sow feed

EP199 can be mixed in your sow feed or bought as a premix feed. It costs around 25-35 EUR extra per sow per year, depending on what EP199 replaces in your existing feed. In the young females’ feed and the gestation feed, the inclusion is 6%. In the lactation feed, the inclusion increases to 9%. 

At European Protein, we offer to pay the expense of an external optimization advisor.

If you want to discuss your options with EP199, please enter your information below, and our local distributor will get in touch.

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European Protein is a Danish family-owned protein producer. We work to promote health and productivity for animals through functional and sustainable plant proteins. The company was founded in 2011 and has protein factories in Denmark, Ukraine and the US.

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