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Applied Swine Nutrition Basics.
Part 1. Theory. Muscle Growth, Ration Energy Density & Ambient Temperature.


During the initial lecture I attended at Oregon State University on animal nutrition taught by my major professor, Dr. James E. Oldfield, he told us, "The eye of the master fattens his cattle." By your "eye" you manage your swine operation. The purpose of this article is to add to your understanding of what makes a hog grow so as to help improve your "eye" with the result that you will increase your profitability of raising pigs in Ukraine.

Part 1: The Theory. What do (1) genetic potential for muscle growth, (2) ambient temperature and (3) energy density of the ration have to do with formulating swine feeds? Plenty! Quick summary: The protein level of the ration (1) needs to be adequate to take advantage of the genetic potential of the pig to grow fat free lean tissue (muscle), (2) adapted to fit the ambient temperature in which the pig lives and (3) adjusted to reflect protein needs in relation to the energy density of the ration. Pigs consume more feed when the ambient temperature gets cold in order to keep warm but they don't need all the extra protein consumed (assuming the ration is adequate in protein at the higher temperature). Market hogs during their time on feed will eat 31% more calories when the ambient temperature drops from 25 �C to 5 �C. Feed costs can be kept from going up 31% by decreasing the percent protein in the ration to fit the animal's protein needs at the lower temperature. Under today's economics the increase in feed costs can be kept to 16% (half of what the increased feed costs would be without reformulation) by using information presented in this article. Also discussed is how to estimate protein requirements after obtaining carcass data and estimating caloric intake. These data are used to predict protein requirements rather than running trial and error feeding trials to see which rations work best. The big difference in this method of determining the protein needs of the ration is that rather than including a specific amount of protein per kilogram of the ration (say 18%) the amount of protein to include in the ration is determined by (1) the ability of the pig to grow muscle (the amount of protein required increases as genetic potential to grow muscle increases), (2) the energy intake of the pig on a specific ration (as ration energy density declines pigs eat more feed) and (3) the ambient temperature in which the ration is consumed (more feed is consumed as ambient temperature declines). This complicates ration formulation but improves the economic performance of pigs fed rations formulated to (1) satisfy the specific muscle growth needs of the pig and adjusted for (2) ambient temperature and (3) energy density of the ration. Formulate on CP/ME.

Part 2. Application of the theory of Part 1. Part 2 gives ration suggestions for five different temperatures for three combinations of protein and grain ((1) Soybean meal and wheat, (2) Partially dehulled sunflower meal fed with wheat and (3) Sunflower meal with hulls and wheat. Also presented are rations recommended for 20 �C weather formulated from (4) soybean and corn, (5) canola meal and wheat and (6) meat and bone meal and wheat. We'll even look at animal performance and the economics of feeding (7) wheat supplemented only with vitamins and minerals without added protein and (8) the same ration with lysine up to the level where another amino acid becomes limiting. The economic comparison of these ration combinations and different �C may surprise you.

Part 3. Economic application of the theory (Part 1) and rations (Part 2). Introduction of the Pig Profit Planner (PPP) that I created using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, that allows the user to (1) develop a budget and predict the profit or loss from raising pigs and (2) answer the question of which protein and grain combination will maximize profit (1) per hog, (2) per kg of gain and (3) per day from the hog facility. These three measurements don't always recommend the same protein and grain source. You're really interested in maximizing the profit from your facility as you're in the business of managing capital. The Pig Profit Planner looks at five different ambient temperatures ranging from 5 �C to 25 �C in five degree increments. You can insert current prices to estimate the profitability of raising pigs today. The Pig Profit Planner is a budgeting tool.

The three parts of this article are serious technical communications for swine producers who want to maximize their profits from raising market hogs so look at them as technical documents that will require study. Don't look at them as light bedtime reading material. My approach to education is to supply enough facts so that students can and will remember concepts that can be applied as conditions change rather than "reading a lecture" where the student has to memorize a lot of facts and results that are hard to remember and even harder to apply as field conditions change. I want you to be able to make economic decisions that maximize your income and for you to be informed enough to free yourself from relying on central planning to make management decisions for you. You'll need to read this manuscript more than once to be able to apply all the concepts presented. "The eye of the master fattens his cattle" so develop your eye so that you can make your own decisions that will maximize your profit. I will use these articles as source material to give me a quick review also. This is a major work. Please use it.

© Roy Chapin, 2024
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