By Stacie Crowder, MS
In some swine barns, we know the reoccurring disease challenges, and we can plan for them. For example, in a barn with a history of a certain bacterial challenge, we can choose management tactics or treatments to address the challenge efficiently and effectively.
But we don’t always know the threat ahead of time. We don’t get notes about what weaned pigs might have been exposed to at the sow farm or in transportation so we can develop a specific diet formulation or treatment protocol to respond. Even if we did, the feed is already ordered and waiting in the feeder before new groups of pigs arrive in the nursery or grow/finish barn. Therefore, we choose tools that give pigs broad-spectrum support and minimize the cost to our customers.
That’s why a strategic blend of activated medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) is often recommended in nursery or grow/finish diets. In their activated or free form, MCFAs can support optimal swine gut health and pig performance. They can function as an easy-to-use form of energy to support the integrity of the intestinal lining to help optimize nutrient digestibility during diet transitions or other periods of stress. They can also be a tool to support biosecurity protocols in the swine feed supply chain, including during transportation or storage.
Why choose a blend of MCFAs?
MCFAs are defined as fatty acids with 6, 8, 10 or 12 carbon atoms. Activated MCFAs are free fatty acids, so they work instantly. Other sources of MCFAs, including triglycerides or salts, must be broken apart before the MCFAs can be activated.
Different challenges are susceptible to different lengths of MCFAs. By feeding a strategic combination of lengths, broad-spectrum support is provided to the pig. Feeding a single MCFA would work against some challenges, but a strategic blend supports optimal and consistent results.
Formulation space for ingredients is at a premium in nursery diets, which is another reason to feed strategic blends of pure, activated MCFAs. By selecting only the active components, we can lower the inclusion of the feed additive and deliver results.
PMI focuses on activated MCFAs to support swine gut health and biosecurity. Ready to learn more? Connect with our team.
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