Piglet gut development target of Alltech NPD

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/Jevtic
© istock/Jevtic
Alltech seeks to boost weight gain, feed intake and gut development in weaned piglets with the launch of a new feed additive.

The company launched the gut development support product, Viligen, at its annual event One: The Alltech Ideas Conference.

The timing of the product’s release was planned as to provide a wider platform for product exposure, said Russell Gilliam, US swine business leader with Alltech. “We’ve already had tremendous response to it,”​ he added.

“It’s going to go into our gut health program,” ​he told us of the new product. “It promotes a healthy gut and microflora, and it does that right at weaning, so it’s going to help us establish what we want in the intestinal tract, and it also helps drive feed intake, which in turn drives average daily gain.”

The specific product has been in development since about September 2017, he said. It was designed to address a challenge that swine producers had identified several years ago, he said. “We saw a need,”​ he added.

“Producers kept coming to us, [saying] ‘We want pigs to start faster,’” ​said Gilliam. 

“We were finally able to put the right combination of ingredients together that could deliver [such a product] in a cost-effective manner that was easy to use and was easily accepted by producers,”​ he added.

Market development and use

The launch is intended to be global, however, some countries have different regulatory requirements, which will imply staggered market entry, he said.

The gut-focused functional additive does not include medicated components, he said. “It has fatty acids, and we have amino modulation components as well as highly available minerals,”​ he added.

The product is designed to be included in piglet starter diets through the first 23 days of production, he said. However, it also could be added to creep feed.

In trials using the feed additive for 23 days starting at weaning, it was found to improve weight gain by 1.6lb compared to piglets on a control feed, said Gilliam. The trial included 1,000 pigs in a commercial facility.

Including the additive in piglet feed was found to improve average daily gain and body weight gain, Alltech reported. Average daily gain was 0.64lb a day compared to 0.57lb in the control group, while average daily feed intake was 0.73lb per day up from the 0.66lb see in the control group, it said.

On average body weight gain during the trial was 14.77lb for piglets getting the supplemented diet, the company said. Control group piglets gained 13.11lb, it said.

Survivability also was found to improve slightly, the company reported. Survival rate for the control group piglets was 98.51% and for those on the supplemented feed, it was 99.7%, it added.

Both diets used included gut health products, said Gilliam. The only difference was that the trial feed also had the new feed additive.

In addition to the trials that have been completed, there are two more currently in progress in the Midwestern region of the US, he said. Trials in Europe also are being considered.  

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