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How to Succeed in Milling Piglet Feed

Weaning piglets means among other changes, a transition to a new diet. From a liquid meal, sow’s milk – lactose as energy source-, the piglet’s diet turns into solid feed – starch as main energy source. The quality of this first feed will have a decisive influence on piglet’s performance during both post-weaning and fattening periods. However, how do you mill a creep or prestarter piglet feed that will ensure the best transition between lactation and post-weaning?

The impact of unsuitable feed on a weaned piglet

At weaning, piglet’s digestive organs are not yet well-developed. The enzyme activity is low and is still adapted to the digestion of lactose. On the other hand, the stress of weaning causes consumption reductions. This is also known as post-weaning anorexia.
To make the transition easier, a suited feed should:

  • Be very palatable to encourage feed intake
  • Be digestible to prevent from digestive disorders
  • Stimulate the development of immunity and installation of balanced flora.

Inadequate post-weaning feed will be less consumed by piglets and will be poorly utilized. It is likely to cause the following effects:

  • digestive disorders, which will be manifested by diarrhea and a stagnation of the digestive system maturation
  • negative impact on performance: growth retardation, and this not only during the post-weaning period but also during the fattening period.

Some tips for making suitable feed for young piglets

Making suitabe feed for young piglets requires expertise and sharp technology. These are often seen as difficult to master, dedicated to specialized feed mills. This also means using special and various raw material, requiring more storage units, all resulting in higher costs.
As a  feed miller, making one's piglet feed is nevertheless possible, with a good support. It is first necessary to have quality raw materials. That is to say, there must be a choice of noble raw materials that are selected for their palatability and digestibility.
To this is added the quality of the pellet, or crumb, based on the following criteria:

  • Particle size of flour before pelleting : a fine particle size increases the digestibility of the feed
  • Adapted size for the young animal
  • Suitable granulation temperature so that nutrient digestibility is not altered. Raw materials rich in sugar or energy should be used with caution as they are sensitive to heat
  • Hardness: it is important to get soft but not crispy pellets. If too hard, piglets will eat less. Raw materials rich in sugar or energy require more vigilance during the granulation process.

Performance, security, cost, quality, and technicality are major parameters in piglet feed production. The Experts of Group TECHNA offer personalized guidance to feed manufacturers to enable them to make themselves powerful piglet feed that is competitive and well-adapted. All of the proposed solutions were validated in experimental situations and in the field to ensure palatability, digestive performance, and security for future weaning feeds. Contact our experts!

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