Don’t settle for poor results, when you stop using zinc!

Don’t worry about the production results, when you phase out zinc. You can achieve more vital, stronger and heavier piglets, if you stop using zinc. And you can even save money on antibiotics, as stronger and healthier piglets need less medical treatment.   

Close to no antibiotics and zero use of zinc

Thomas Jessen, Danish farmer, produces 23.000 piglets a year. He phased out zinc four years ago without problems. He did it to challenge his business and himself. The farm mixes their own feed and have experimented with different doses of the complementary protein EP100i, used to make the transition to a zinc free production carefree. Diarrhoea still occurs, but it rarely needs any kind of treatment.

“We haven’t been using medicinal zinc oxide for four years and we are well below the Danish nation average in antibiotic use. On top I have a lower feed cost, than before.” Thomas says.

Thomas Jessen is sure, that the effect is due to the complementary protein:” EP100i ensures that the piglets’ uptake is maximized due to a better developed gut. It also changes the bacteria composition in the gut for the better. The piglets are more vital and strong.”

Documented effect

The product has been tested several times and latest in 2019 together with Copenhagen University, where an extensive trial was carried out in Poland. The trial showed that piglets gained 1,6 kilos extra compared to a diet added 2.500 ppm zinc. The mortality was very alike: 4,1 % for piglets fed with EP100i and 5,2 % for piglets fed with feed added 2.500 ppm zinc oxide. The basic diet without zinc or EP100i had a mortality rate of 12% and weighed 2,5 kilos less than EP100i at day 63.

Mette O. Nielsen, Professor in Sustainable Animal Nutrition at Copenhagen University, was surprised, that the EP100i fed piglets had a higher daily weight gain:” We expected a small loss in daily weight gain due to a higher content of fibre in the diet, but instead we had a greater weight gain. A few of the piglets had signs of diarrhea, but they were able to recover by themselves”.

Why do they grow better without zinc oxide?

Zinc changes the bacteria composition just as EP100i but harms the gut development. During the trial, samples of tissue, blood and faeces were taken to measure the development of the immune system, inflammation and the piglets’ ability to take up the feed provided. The results showed that piglets from the zinc-group suffered from moderate inflammation, measured on the presence of white blood cells and a weak gut barrier, that should protect the piglets from pathogenic bacteria entering the blood stream. The immune system was also underdeveloped. The combined markers of an underdeveloped gut in the zinc oxide group is believed to be the reason, why piglets grew better with EP100i.

 Probiotics, prebiotics and metabolites – all in one

EP100i is a complementary functional feed produced from rapeseed meal fermented with lactic acid bacteria. EP100i contains fermentation metabolites including lactic acid and contains gut flora stabilizing lactic acid bacteria. The fermentation process enriches the feed with probiotics, prebiotics and anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial bacterial bioactive metabolites. The fermentation process ensures a high digestibility and low ANF´s (Anti-nutritional factors).

For more information on EP100i.

The complementary protein is produced by European Protein in Denmark, Ukraine and the USA.

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