Virginiamycin may reduce feed costs for swine producers

May 04, 2010

University of Illinois researchers have found one more way swine producers may be able to save money on feed costs this year.

For decades, swine producers have recognized an increase in growth and performance when virginiamycin is added to their corn-soybean meal feed rations.

U of I researchers have recently discovered that this increase in growth is partly due to increased ileal amino acid digestibility.

Hans Stein, U of I associate professor in the department of animal sciences, said, "Virginiamycin is a popular feed additive in swine diets throughout the world. It's typically used to achieve higher feed efficiency and results in less feed needed to put on a pound of gain."

However, until now, there was not a clear understanding of what caused this improvement.

Stein's team discovered that amino acid digestibility improved as soon as virginiamycin was added to the diet. When it was removed from the diet, digestibility returned to baseline. The effects only lasted as long as virginiamycin was included in the diet.

"This information is helpful to producers because it provides an explanation of why virginiamycin can help improve feed conversion," Stein said. "Producers can use less feed and fewer amino acids when they add this product to a diet because are better utilized by the pig."

This potential savings on formulation cost could increase use of virginiamycin in swine diets.

"We've shown it has a positive effect on digestibility," Stein said. "Now it's up to the producers to decide if it makes sense to use it from an economic standpoint. We believe it can lower diet cost a little due to this increase in digestibility."

Explore further: A better understanding of piglet immune response to intestinal parasites

More information: This research was published in the Journal of Animal Science.

Provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tryptophan-enriched diet reduces pig aggression

Mar 18, 2010

Feeding the amino acid tryptophan to young female pigs as part of their regular diet makes them less aggressive and easier to manage, according to a study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

Biodiesel Byproduct Fuels Growth in Broilers

Aug 03, 2006

Glycerine, a byproduct of biodiesel production, can be used as a dietary supplement for growing broiler chickens, according to research by University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture poultry scientists.

Bovine respiratory disease

Mar 05, 2010

A multi-disciplinary team of Oklahoma State University scientists and practitioners is riding herd on one of the most challenging concerns of Oklahoma's $4.6 billion cattle industry: Bovine Respiratory Disease.

Recommended for you

Peacock's train is not such a drag

12 minutes ago

The magnificent plumage of the peacock may not be quite the sacrifice to love that it appears to be, University of Leeds researchers have discovered.

Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after five centuries

5 hours ago

A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig. Extracted from a sixteenth century pig found at the site of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, the data obtained indicates that ...

User comments : 0