Piglet rearing without zinc oxide – practical experience

Piglet rearing without zinc oxide – practical experience

Although the human epidemiological situation and measures restricted our normal activities in many respects in the first half of 2020, the past few months have not been uneventful at all with respect to the Platinum Zero piglet diets to be launched. Seeing the evolution of the pig market prices we expected that our partners would show reduced willingness to perform our trials, but even in that difficult situations there were partners who were open to trying out our zinc-oxide-free piglet nutrition concept. Thanks to this, in April and May 2020 we could test our Platinum Zero piglet diets on the pig farm of the Agricultural Co. Ltd. of Somberek.

On the 800-sow farm of the Agricultural Co. Ltd. of Somberek, we tried out our zinc-oxide-free piglet nutrition concept on a total of 619 Topigs (TN70) × Norsvin Duroc piglets. The piglets were weaned at the age of 26.3 days and at a body weight of 7.6 kg on the average. The feeding of the Platinum Zero Prestarter diet was started already in the farrowing house, at 10 days of age. The prestarter diet intake of the piglets was outstanding, they readily consumed the diet, and weaning did not cause a setback in growth either. As the company has a feedmill of its own, the starter diet was manufactured locally, based on our mixing recommendations, using the farm’s own grain crops and Zero Starter 15% concentrate. As regards flat-deck rearing in the nursery phase, it can be stated that the piglets could be switched over to starter diet feeding without any problem (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Piglets consuming Platinum Zero piglet diets in the nursery at 59 days old on the pig farm of Somberek

The piglet grower feed was also produced locally, and the amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes meeting the nutrient requirements of the animals were contained in the KSP-245-E 4% premix. Diarrhoea did not occur throughout the nursery rearing phase. The numerical results of the performance parameters are summarised in Table 1.

Piglet table Somberek

Table 1. Production results obtained during the zinc-oxide-free piglet feeding trial

Overall, the piglets fed with Platinum Zero diets during the rearing phase produced results corresponding to the standard expected by the farm, and our partner was satisfied with the results seen and obtained. As regards the performance parameters, the low mortality rate is obviously outstanding. In addition to the diets, the expertise and attention of the farm management also contributed to the success considerably. The results are especially important, as we would like to maintain the productivity level attained with zinc-oxide-supplemented feeds also after the discontinuation of zinc oxide use.

We would like to thank the Agricultural Co. Ltd. of Somberek for their trust in us and for offering us the possibility to conduct our trials on their farm, and we wish them the best of luck and every success in their future work.

Orsolya Vida
Product Manager
Bonafarm-Bábolna Feed Ltd.

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