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Research r...WeanersTrial report 1147

Trial report 1147: Test of feeding concepts as an alternative to zinc oxide for weaned pigs

One concept improved productivity and lowered diarrhoea outbreaks compared with feed including zinc oxide. One concept was level with feed including zinc oxide, and two were level with feed without zinc.


Four feeding concepts for weaned pigs in the 7-30 kg period were compared with feed including zinc oxide the first 14 days post-weaning and with feed without zinc. The trial was conducted at SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre’s trial station Grønhøj.

Elimination of zinc oxide from the feed lowered the production value by roughly DKK 1.90 per pig. Corrected for savings in feed costs when not using zinc oxide the loss per pig amounted to roughly DKK 1. Diarrhoea frequency increased and consequently the number of antibiotic treatments nearly doubled, which further increased production costs by about DKK 0.80 per pig.

The concept from Trouw Nutrition significantly improved productivity and lowered treatment frequency compared with group 1 (with zinc oxide) but added net DKK 8 per pig to the total cost of production. The concept from Vitfoss was identical to group 1 in terms of both productivity and treatments for diarrhoea, but cost DKK 6.60 per pig. The remaining two concepts (FRAmelco and Evonik) did not stand out from the group given 0 ppm zinc oxide in terms of productivity and diarrhoea treatments.

None of the four concepts improved productivity to such an extent that they were able to cover the increased feed costs compared with the control groups. The effect on diarrhoea and the savings on antibiotics were not enough to neutralize the increased feed costs.

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Author: Niels Kjeldsen / / +45 3339 4393

Updated: 19.09.2018