Adding Amino Acids to Swine Rations Stimulates Growth But Also Improves Health

Dec 23, 2022

Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre has shown, in addition to stimulating increased growth, the inclusion of functional amino acids in the diets of pigs also promotes improved health status.

A study conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre in partnership with the Swine Innovation Porc which examined the inclusion of functional amino acids, in this case methionine, threonine and tryptophan at 120 percent of National Research Council requirements for growth, into the diets of weanling pigs challenged by salmonella resulted in improved growth performance and improved health status.

Dr. Dan Columbus, a Research Scientist Nutrition with the Prairie Swine Centre, says the study was prompted by relatively recent changes in Canada and several other countries restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock production including the elimination of antibiotics for growth promotion.

Clip-Dr. Dan Columbus-Prairie Swine Centre:

It's our belief that this information will be important and will be used by nutritionists, producers and anybody else who is involved in developing feeding programs for pigs or programs that are meant to enhance or maintain pig health.

This information can be incorporated into nutrition programs, so adjusting amino acid content in order to improve animal productivity and reduce that negative effect of disease challenge in commercial pig production.

I think the main take home is that the inclusion of some key functional amino acids such as methionine, threonine and tryptophan may be beneficial to improving health status and performance of pigs so this is another tool to consider in an era of reduced antibiotic usage and something that might be helpful in your particular situation.

Dr. Columbus says the plan moving forward is to further examine functional amino acid use to improve pig health with studies aimed at examining which amino acids are key and how much are needed and doing this while minimising feed costs.

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