Getting young pigs off to a good start is imperative and keeping them on the road to high performance is just as important. Oftentimes, keeping young pigs on that high-performance road can prove tricky as intake and daily gains may falter as feeding programs are switched from one phase to the next.
PowerStart Solo from Hubbard Feeds delivers nursery pig performance in one simple step. Formulated for pigs weighing 13 to 25 pounds, PowerStart Solo provides the right blend of nutrients to help young pigs adjust to dry feed, while also avoiding the second-stage transition pigs face with traditional feeding strategies. With only one stage, feed budgets and deliveries are easier to manage.
Brett Ramirez, panelist from Iowa State University, asked Stewart Galloway, Hubbard Feeds senior swine nutritionist, if there is a "hump" that producers may need to maneuver as they adopt this new feeding strategy.
"The hump for many producers is changing their mindset that a single-phase program will work. Solo came from thinking about the larger systems where the pigs are brought in on different days and those last little guys are the ones that oftentimes don't get as much of that first diet," Galloway said. "Solo has been a really big plus to meet the needs of these pigs. Helping producers think about how we're going to manage that is easier now because you just fill the bin with one feed. You don't have to worry about trying to budget a little bit of feed up front and get that scattered evenly across the pigs and hold some for later because it's all ready to go right at the beginning."
Galloway said budgeting and managing the feed mill and delivery people are easier, "changes take a little bit getting used to, but it's manageable and efficient."
Responding to a question from Carthage Veterinary Service's Clayton Johnson regarding if the PowerStart Solo strategy can be used with a medication program, Galloway said "it's designed to be a non-medicated program, but it works well with most VFD (veterinary feed directive) programs. There have been some people, depending on what their protocol is, who divided the Solo into two parts with the same diet, with or without the medication. But it has fit really well with a lot of VFD timelines and that's been a big plus too."
North Carolina State University's Mark Knauer asked if nursery performance will follow through to market weight.
"When we look at these trials, we typically run them for about three weeks," Galloway said, "but in this case we carried them out through the nursery and that weight gain advantage carried through the nursery. We believe that a pound or two pounds heavier coming out of the nursery is going to continue on through the finisher with a heavier pig at the end." Galloway added that uniformity in the herd appeared to be a benefit of this feeding strategy. "We've observed more pigs staying together with their cohort all the way through as well."
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