Gunner Sorensen at Alltech's International Forum on Pork Production
Dr. Gunner Sorensen is a program manager in Pig Research Centre, Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Denmark. He spoke to Alltech's pork forum about his work enhancing sow production and maintaining sow welfare through nutrition. The most efficient Danish pig farmers are producing 35 pigs / sow / year with DanBred sows.
Setting a goal of 35 pigs / sow / year creates several challenges, including:
Sorensen's research has covered many factors related to pig nutrition and its effect on sow productivity and welfare. Increasing sow productivity is dependent on nutrition, management of sow body condition, gastric health, minerals, protein, and lactation. Some of his most interesting findings are highlighted here.
Phosphorus levels were reduced dramatically while adding phytase, without affecting leg strength or productivity. Sorensen saw very positive results even with no addition of phosphorus during gestation.
Gastric ulcers were reduced with coarse-grained feed. This allowed for a more normal pH gradient in the digestive system when compared to pelletized feed.
Micro minerals are important but we need a greater understanding of the interaction between minerals before we can find the right diet for sows.
Piglet birth weight is dependent on energy in the sows diet during gestation - not protein.