Supporting the Gut in a World without Zinc Oxide

12th January 2018

Supporting the Gut in a World without Zinc Oxide

Whilst 2022 and the complete ban on the use of Zinc Oxide in pig feeds may seem a world away, it is important that the industry and producers act now to develop alternative strategies to control enteric problems on farm before the five year phase out period is complete.

Devenish, over the last two years have conducted a range of trials looking at potential tools to support early gut development and as a result immunity and have seen very positive results with DeviGuard.

DeviGuard: Supporting the development of a healthy gut

DeviGuard is a unique, synergistic blend of encapsulated fatty acids which ensure the maintenance of an efficient digestive system in weaner, grower and finishing pigs. Keeping the villi healthy is crucial to pig performance and controlling enteric problems:

  • Having functioning villi increases the surface area for absorption, ensuring the efficient use of nutrients in the animal's diet.
  • The intestinal wall is also a key site of the immune system and any disruption of villi integrity will have a negative impact on the animal's immunity.

Previous work in a European funded project has shown that DeviGuard promotes villi development in a challenge situation (Sixth Framework Programme Priority Ssp/5.4.6). Supporting the villi can then have a wide-reaching impact on the overall performance on the pig.

Healthy, established villi maximise surface area for nutrient absorption, resulting in increased weight gain

Healthy, established villi maximise surface area for nutrient absorption, resulting in increased weight gain

Stunted, undeveloped villi result in nutrients not being absorbed and being excreted, resulting in poor growth rates

Stunted, undeveloped villi result in nutrients not being absorbed and being excreted, resulting in poor growth rates

Commercial trials comparing Zinc Oxide with DeviGuard

Over a period of two years and across nine farms with varying levels of performance, DeviGuard was compared to 3.1kg Zinc Oxide.

In the first six trials over a four week post weaning period, DeviGuard was able to maintain performance in comparison to Zinc Oxide across six farms (see figure 1).

Fig 1: Six trials showing pigs fed DeviGuard matching Average Daily Gain (ADG) performance of pigs fed 3.1kg Zinc Oxide

In the second series of trials across three farms, DeviGuard was trialled against Zinc Oxide over a four week post weaning period when pigs on the DeviGuard treatment were offered Zinc Oxide and DeviGuard in the first two weeks post weaning and then only DeviGuard for the rest of stage 1.

Starting pigs on Zinc Oxide and DeviGuard for a short period post weaning and then using only Deviguard improved average daily gain by 10% and food conversion by 5% compared to feeding Zinc Oxide through the four week post weaning period.

Fig 2: Trials showing pigs fed Zinc Oxide and then DeviGuard outperformed pigs fed Zinc Oxide only

Conclusion

DeviGuard is not a replacement for Zinc Oxide in the feed but it can be used as part of the overall package in reducing and/or removing zinc totally. If looking for an option for supporting healthy gut development, which in turn assists the intestine’s immunity and nutrient absorption capacity, DeviGuard is the answer.

For more information on DeviGuard, please speak to your Devenish representative or contact Devenish on +44 (0)2890 755566.

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