Home > Pork CRC Confirms that Value of Fat Enhances Performance in Finisher Pigs

Pork CRC Confirms that Value of Fat Enhances Performance in Finisher Pigs

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Pork CRC study from Project 2B 101 confirms the value of fat in enhancing the performance of finisher pigs. In previous trials, researchers showed that increasing the DE content of the diet offered finisher pigs improved feed efficiency and carcass weight. 

Auspig analysis and commercial studies showed that increasing the DE of finisher diets from 13.5 to approximately 14.5 MJ/kg increased carcass weight and reduced feed usage, resulting in improved profitability ranging from $1.40 to $10.00/pig. The profitability range largely reflected differences in pig sex and how pigs were sold. 

Results Confirmed While a more recent study tends to confirm earlier results, it is interesting that the researchers attempted to maintain constant diet DE and investigate the effects of just fat on performance over 35 days, with male and female pigs with starting weights of 64kg. 

The results are summarised below. Increasing the level of fat (tallow) added to the diet from 1% to 6% improved feed efficiency and increased carcass weight. 

The responses were most pronounced in males, with feed efficiency improving 10.4% when the level of added fat was increased from 1 to 6%. The calculated associated increase in dietary DE was 7.3%, suggesting a small improvement in energetic efficiency associated with the use of fat.

This shows the effects of the different fat additions on returns over feed costs. Increased returns are considerable, despite the small but significant increase in P2 fat thickness associated with increasing dietary fat content. Better returns reflect the effects of fat and DE on carcass weight and feed efficiency. 

Economical Technology The results show that the use of fat and higher energy diets for finisher pigs is a simple, economical technology for increasing throughput and feed efficiency. 

The technology immediately applies to male pigs and for both sexes during periods of high pig price (high demand) and periods when pigs are more crowded and housed in higher temperatures. 

The effects of adding fat to the diets offered pigs for 35 days starting at 64 kg liveweight on feed: gain, carcass weight, P2 fat thickness and return over feed costs (compared to the 1% treatment) (Results averaged for males and females).

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