Applying Anco FIT in antibiotic-free nursery diets in a field trial under commercial conditions improved growth performance by >20% in the first 3 weeks and by 10% overall (Figure 1 below). Pig producers also reported a reduction in the amount of medication required for nursery pigs.
Impact of stress factors amplified with antibiotic-free diets
Weaning is a particularly stressful period for the pig and since the digestive system is not fully developed yet, the pig is also more susceptible to nutritional stress factors including less digestible nutrients and mycotoxins. This is particularly evident, when diets are fed antibiotic-free.
Importance of feed intake post-weaning
In the early stages post weaning, growth and development of the pig are driven by feed intake in a linear fashion. Scientific studies have shown that for every 0.1 kg extra feed per day during the first week post-weaning, body weight increases about 1.5 kg at the end of the fourth week post-weaning.
Weaning performance affects days to market
Feed intake in the first week post-weaning, also has consequences for later stages of growth. In studies conducted at Kansas State University, pigs that maintained or lost weight during the first week post-weaning required 10 extra days to reach market weight, compared with pigs that gained about 0.25 kg/day during the same period. Wilcock (2009) reported that for every 17g/day in the first twenty days post weaning, an increase of 1kg at slaughter can be expected.
Field trial, in nursery pigs Austria 2016
Commercial nursery pigs were fed antibiotic-free diets containing up to 36% corn, some wheat and some barley. Pigs did not receive medication. Average weaning weight was 9.3kg.
Nursery pigs fed Anco FIT in the diet gained considerably more weight compared to the control pigs, particularly in the first 22 days. This advantage was maintained at 41d weight (Figure 1 below).
Read more about pig production in Austria: here.