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Examination of feed enzymes as a means of improving feed efficiency in pigs

Project Summary

To reduce feed costs the pig industry must avail of alternative ingredients and by-products as well as making greater use of conventional ingredients.  Dietary supplementation with non-starch pollycaccharide degrading (e.g. ß-glucanase and xylanase) could potentially improve nutrient availability from fibrous ingredients. Furthermore, supplementing diets with proteases could increase protein digestion as well as providing other benefits such as inactivating anti-nutritional factors.  Feed enzymes offer the possibility to make greater use of common ingredients and may allow the greater use of alternative feed ingredients and by-products (e.g.  dried distillers grains with solubles - DDGS). 

This project will deliver: 

  1. A review of the literature on the use of feed enzymes in pigs
  2. In-vitro assessment of the efficacy of a range of enzymes
  3. In-vivo assessment of the efficacy exogenous feed enzymes in least-cost diets for finisher pigs
  4. In-vivo assessment of the efficacy exogenous feed enzymes in least-cost diets for weaner pigs
  5. An assessment of the efficacy of soaking feed with added enzyme on pig performance
  6. A cost benefit analysis of supplementing pig diets with feed enzymes

Expected benefits

  • A reduction in feed cost per kg carcass will be achieved by improving feed conversion efficiency (FCE) and hence reducing the feed required for each kg of carcass produced and by rendering a greater range of ingredients suitable for inclusion in pig diets and hence reducing the price of a finished diet.
  • The improvement in FCE will also reduce nutrient excretion by the pigs. This not only has environmental benefits, but it will also reduce manure handling costs for the producer.


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