Trials underpin newly developed sow line from ForFarmers

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Trials underpin newly developed sow line from ForFarmers

Related tags Digestion Nutrition

Dutch feed manufacturer, ForFarmers, said it has developed the NOVA range to feed sows and gilts throughout their reproductive cycle; the products are aimed at boosting lactation, performance and sow longevity.

“It is the company’s biggest international feed launch since VIDA in 2015,”​ Thomas Welham, marketing manager, pigs, poultry and specialty, ForFarmers, told us. 

The company said the range is underpinned by extensive field trials in North West Europe over an 18-month period, across 40 farms.

Data was collected on over 40,000 piglets covering a range of sow genotypes. The trials - to prove improved lactation, longevity and performance - demonstrated that NOVA diets and feed programs deliver 0.25 more piglets weaned, a 165g improvement in weaning weight, and maintenance of sow body condition to extend the sows reproductive life, said the firm.

ForFarmers is launching the range in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Belgium in late October and early November. 

Steve Wilson, ForFarmers UK monogastric nutritionist, told us why, in terms of some of the key nutritional innovations within the NOVA range the company has flagged, a course cereal component is critical. 

“Pigs can suffer from ulcers if the lining of the stomach is exposed to acid and digestive enzymes.

“The risk of this happening is significantly increased if the feed transit time through the stomach is speeded up and the dry matter content of the stomach contents decreases.

“It has been shown that the inclusion of coarse particles, of an optimum size, in the diet can significantly reduce the risk of this happening due to slower transit times and increased dry matter content.”

Fiber components

The new range also includes structural and microbial fibers that are said to promote gut health, digestive efficiency and satiety.

“Fiber is a generic term which reflects a wide range of carbohydrates; in practice there are many different types of fiber with different properties within the digestive tract.

“The inclusion of fiber can be used to improve gut fill and improve the resting behavior of sows through better satiety. Fermentable fibers can also increase the level of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) in the gut, which can improve gut health and/or be used as nutrients, improving digestive efficiency,” ​he said.

The NOVA range also includes a flush diet aimed at supporting the period from weaning to oestrus in sows, but that is not available as part of the UK range.

“The main aim of flushing is to increase the supply of readily available energy prior to ovulation.

“Diets that contain a highly digestible energy source, such as glucose, usually fed ad-libitum prior to service, will bring about the ‘flushing effect’," ​said Wilson.

Nutrient demands

When asked how the new range help boost a sow’s condition, colostrum quality and high milk yields to support heavier litters, he told us:

“The success of the sow’s reproductive cycle is dependent on many factors - health, management and nutrition being the key ones. If we want to maximize the output from the sow in terms of heavier litters, then we must ensure that the inputs we provide via the NOVA sow diets balance these nutrient demands.

“The success of the NOVA range of sow feeds is achieved through a full understanding of which nutrients are required at which stage of the reproductive cycle and providing them in the correct balance at the right time."



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