Healthy breeding through local protein source

For co-owner and pig manager René Hansen, healthy and durable sows are critical for Trøllundgaard Breeding and Multiplying. Not unlike most breeders. But one thing sets him apart. And that’s his choice of protein source to achieve healthier sows.


Avler sundhed med lokalt protein

About the farm

Trøllundgaard Breeding and Multiplying covers three farms: the sow farm Gilbjerggaard, with all breeding and pure-bred sows, Trøllundgaard with hybrid sows and finishers and a third farm with finishers. In addition, the farms cultivate 1.000 hectares of land in Central Jutland. The company employs 14 farm workers, and the sow herd consists of 700 DanBred-Yorkshire sows for breeding.

The sows are all fed with home-mixed liquid feed added EP199, and the weaned pigs are fed a dry feed with the soy protein EP200.

Healthy breeding brings quality to customers

One of René Hansen’s most noble tasks is to increase health in his sow herd:

– One of the challenges we face as a breeding farm is that our pigs are very young – we have a young herd – and that’s why I want to help create stability and health for our animals.

And stability is crucial not only for productivity but also for the quality of animals being sold to pig producers and breeders all over the world:

– The most important parameter is that we produce a decent quality for our customers. Our core product is to sell breeding animals to pig producers in Denmark and for export. We also sell boars for AI stations, so we want to sell good quality. Health means selling strong animals from Trøllundgaard and that customers are satisfied with our animals, says the farm manager.

As a result, René chose in 2020 to start feeding a local protein source to increase stability and health in his sow herd.

Avler sundhed med lokalt protein

Rapeseed and seaweed protein travels from mouth to mouth among breeders

In 2020, the Danish breeder was recommended to try out a new protein source made from fermented rapeseed and seaweed for his sows. The recommendation came from a colleague who had already obtained significant results feeding the fermented protein EP199 to his sow herd. In addition, the farm manager at Trøllundgaard was already familiar with European Protein because he fed the fermented soy protein EP200 to his weaned pigs for over eight years.

And that became the start of feeding the fermented rapeseed – and seaweed protein, EP199 for his sow herd, says the breeder:

–  Some of our breeder colleagues recommended  EP199. Feeding rapeseed and seaweed is a bit wild, but I believe it is in the feed; we have to find a solution to better productivity and a reduction in the climate impact of feed.

According to the Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI) and the Danish Table of feed ingredients (SEGES), regular soybean meal delivered to Denmark has a climate impact of 6,09 kg CO2e per kilo. However, when soybean meal is exchanged for EP199, more than 80% of the climate impact is saved (source: Bureau Veritas for European Protein).

The winnings of healthy sows

After including EP199 to the feed of young females and gestated sows in December 2020, and afterwards lactating sows in April 2021,  René Hansen reports excellent results:

– After starting with Ep199 in our sow herd, we have seen increased stability at the sows, and there seems to be a great milking ability in the farrowing section. We reduced the inclusion of soy after we started feeding EP199.

The shift from soybean meal to fermented rapeseed and seaweed affected the protein level in the feed:

– We have reduced our protein level across the sections after starting with EP199, which has economic significance.

Trøllundgaard Breeding and Multiplying is far from the only farm able to reduce its protein content in the feed. Several sow farms report a lowered protein need after the introduction of EP199 in the sow feed.


Avler sundhed med lokalt protein

Significant effect on sow gut health

Together with Copenhagen University and European Protein, Trøllundgaard took samples of the sows gut microflora before using EP199 and after five months of use of EP199. The sampling was done to demonstrate how big of an impact EP199 had on gut microflora diversity. High diversity is liked to a high health status.

The more diverse the sow’s gut microflora is, the harder it is for unwanted bacteria to establish and multiply in the gut. Making the sow more resilient.

Trøllundgaard wasn’t alone in the project focussing on gut health. In total,  38 Danish sow herds from 2020 to 2022 had blood and faecal samples taken to document the changes in gut microflora before and after including EP199 in the feed.

Want to know more about how EP199 worked for the 38 pig producers? Then send an email to [email protected] to receive an invitation for the next online seminar.

Use of EP199 in sow feed 

EP199 is included by 6% in the feed for the young and gestated sows – replacing a part of your existing protein. When the gestated sows move into the farrowing section, the inclusion is increased to 9% throughout the lactation period and lowered to 6% after weaning.  

About EP199 

EP199 consists of fermented rapeseed and seaweed. The complementary protein replaces other protein sources and contributes to better utilisation of nutrients in the sows’ complete feed. In addition, EP199 increases the gut microflora diversity and leaves less room for pathogens to colonise. Consequently, the pathogenic bacteria in the sow faeces with the potential of contaminating piglets is reduced.

Are you in need of more milk and stability?

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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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