On October 3th and 4th, Orffa Benelux organized its 23th symposium. This year, the set-up of the symposium was slightly different than customers are usually used from us. Instead of one combined symposium for the whole Benelux, the symposium was split up between a location in Belgium and a location in the Netherlands. In total almost 100 feed manufacturers, researchers and consultants participated during these days. Several topics were addressed.
Amino acids in pig diets
Sam Millet from ILVO, Belgium, focused on the optimal Lysine and Valine contents of diets, to achieve a maximal feed intake and growth of weaned piglets. From recent studies, it was shown that both Lysine and Valine influence feed intake and growth performance. It was concluded that the balance between individual amino acids is key.
Alfons Jansman from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, showed the latest insights about balancing the dietary amino acid supply and performance in young piglets. The main conclusion was that, when lowering crude protein in post weaning piglets diets, not only the minimum requirement for essential amino acids should be taken into account. During the presentation, it was clear that, for maintaining animal performances, also the balance/imbalance between essential amino acid plays a key role and thus should be considered.
Paolo Trevisi from the University of Bologna, Italy, explained how supplementation of Tryptophan and Threonine allows to obtain the best performance in piglets with different genotypes. The genetic makeup of animals is essential to disclose the nutrient requirements in optimal and in sub-optimal conditions.
Finally, William Lambert from Ajinomoto Eurolysine SAS (France), provided a practical toolbox. It was shown how feed intake can be influenced by supplementing amino acids. When an amino acid is limiting in the diet, piglets do not compensate this by increasing their feed intake. Instead, piglets will reduce feed intake when sensing an imbalance. Finally, it was shown how amino acid supplementation can enhance gut health and immunity. Inflammation and immune system stimulation activate new metabolic pathways which consume amino acids as Threonine and Tryptophan. Therefore it is important to start with fine-tuning the ideal amino acid profile, depending on conditions.
Orffa update; optimizing piglet performance
Gut health has a major influence on performance of piglets. Therefore Orffa advices to take a 3 step approach into account from a nutritional point of view, in order to obtain an optimal gut health.
- Step 1: Control crude protein level. Minimize undigested protein in the gut, while formulating the ideal amino acid profile and using feed grade amino acids.
- Step 2: Optimize gut health, by suppressing pathogens and optimizing the intrinsic microflora.
- Step 3: Support immunity, by promoting health status on animal level.
This 3 step approach can be interpreted in many different ways. So in order to accomplish this step by step approach, it is important for the feed manufacturer to carefully evaluate the on-farm situation and the challenges faced in the daily practice. Based on this evaluation, a decision can be made on what approach to choose and what combination of products to use.
Outlook on pig industries
During the afternoon session, it was time to shift to a more broader point of view on the sector. Jan Peter van Ferneij (IFIP Institut du porc, France) gave an outlook on the European pig industries. He explained enthusiastically about the influences of the worldwide major producers and importers. During this presentation, the future perspectives and trends were highlighted.