In this e-mailnewsletter we look at the most important mycotoxins and their effect on poultry diets. The subject of imprinting in piglets is discussed too, and we also take a topical look at spring grass to cow diets and overcoming some of the potential pitfalls.
Spring grass represents a great opportunity for dairy producers. Grazed grass is an important asset. It is a cost effective feed and it is a consumer friendly 'natural' feed. However, the inclusion of spring grass in the cow's diet presents its own set of challenges. As the digestive characteristics of spring grass are very different to a typical winter ration, it needs to be introduced carefully to avoid digestive upsets.
This newsletter aims at giving a brief overview of mycotoxins and their effects when present in poultry feeds.
Mycotoxins are produced by moulds growing on agricultural crops and can be toxic to animals and humans. It is estimated that approximately 25% of the cereal produced around the world is infected with one or more types of mycotoxin. Most of these mytocoxins belong to the three genera of fungi: Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium.
Piglets recognize the right creep feed through imprinting via the sow's milk
The main challenge of creep feeding is achieving high feed intakes. Poor pre-weaning feed intake suppresses a healthy intestinal flora development and overall feed intake after weaning (Pluske et al., 2007). Therefore the aim of creep feed is to prepare the piglet for weaning by stimulating optimal gut health together with maximizing intakes. Intakes of creep feed can be enhanced by including a flavor in the sow's diet. This flavor can be transmitted through the amniotic fluid and subsequently via the milk, this process is known as imprinting. Provimi tested this principle by using a specific essential oil combination (Cinergy) in sow feed and creep feed leading to positive results.
This year strong finished lamb prices make it well worth reviewing feeding and management to make sure the maximum potential of this year's lamb crop is realized.
Young lambs are relatively efficient food converters, especially compared to larger ruminants. This high potential to convert food efficiently to meat, coupled with bonuses for early finishing in some regions, means that a high quality ration can be justified in order to get lambs to target weights on time. Given these factors, and the variability of lamb performance on grazing and forages, a high concentrate diet is often fed to lambs to achieve rapid finishing.
Taeke Tromp, area sales manager for Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia
Taeke Tromp has been at the helm of commercial management for Provimi's Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavian markets for the past 18 months.
He lives in The Hague with his wife and two young sons.