Farmscape for April 18, 2022
Researchers are examining possible role of particle size and feed outages on the incidence of gastric ulcers in pigs.
Extremely finely ground feed ingredients have been shown to contribute to gastric ulcers in pigs and there's evidence that ingredients like pea starch can cause diets to bind in the equipment resulting in feed outages.
A part of research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the Prairie Swine Centre aimed at increasing the inclusion of pea starch in swine rations, scientists looked at the implications of feed outages.
Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor Monogastric Nutrition with the University of Saskatchewan, explains the gastric tissues of pigs fed diets containing 40 percent pea starch and subjected to zero, 16 or 24 hour feed outages were examined at slaughter for evidence of ulcers.
Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
In this case a feed outage of up to 24 hours, within the next week those pigs were able to compensate.
The pigs that had the feed outage ate more in the week after the outage so our overall growth rate was not affected by the feed outage.
These pigs are probably housed in what you might call ideal conditions so, in this case, in an ideal situation, even a 24-hour feed out the pigs were able to compensate.
However, the pigs we sampled at the abattoir, virtually all of those pigs had some evidence of a gastric ulcer.
The pigs that had the longer feed outages, it was more severe, but even the pigs with no feed outage, there was some evidence of gastric ulcers.
We can't tell from this experiment if that's due to the pea starch or due to the feed outage or even if that's normal, if all of our pigs have that.
But we were surprised to see that amount of damage.
Dr. Beaulieu says scientists are now drilling down to determine what caused the ulcers, whether it was the particle size or the feed outage and how much of a concern the ulcers are.
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