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Maximizing Your Winter

Optimization of full-value pigs at marketing helps maximize profit from each barn closeout. Improving each individual animal's margin over feed should be the goal in the marketing efforts for each barn. Management practices such as stocking density, adequate feeder space, water availability and optimum air exchange to minimize gases that can have negative effects on pig growth should be monitored – especially in the colder months.

Winterization Tips for Your Operation

  • Ensure driveways and turn-around areas are adequately prepared for feed delivery vehicle access
  • Confirm ventilation inlets are working appropriately
  • Keep up with rodent control as temperatures cool and mice and rats attempt to stay warm
  • Ensure propane deliveries can be made when needed, and furnaces are functioning properly
  • Test run the backup generator and check that the alarm system is working
  • Ensure ventilation fans are working correctly and that air inlets are functioning
  • Confirm appropriate curtain function and ensure that there are no gaps or large holes that could increase the rise of frozen water pipes

Feeding for Optimum Cold-Weather Performance

Maximizing margin over feed costs should be the goal for each individual animal in each weaning group. KemTRACE® Chromium can support performance in finishing pigs throughout the year, including the winter. Improved daily feed intake – about 3% in most studies – drives average daily gain to improve days to market, as well as improved feed conversion. Additionally, carcass yield is improved based on numerous studies which can add 0.5% improvement yield, as well as cut out value. Improved yield results in more carcass pounds for each group of pigs marketed.

System throughput is increased with chromium supplementation based on improved daily weight gain, enhanced feed intake and improved feed efficiency of feed utilization. Barns can be managed more precisely based on improved gain, target market weight and days to barn closeout. Optimization of marketing strategy can be utilized as more predictable outcomes can be expected. 

We know that chromium helps manage glucose uptake by the muscle cells – meaning the clearance of glucose is improved when supplemental chromium is provided in the diet. This improves efficiency by allowing energy to be utilized by protein accretion, generally resulting in improved cut out value for payment programs that value improved cut out yields.

Furthermore, data from several studies indicate that levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – are reduced when feeding KemTRACE Chromium. During the winter months, respiratory stress, disease challenge, seasonal cold stress and normal stocking density factors can increase stress for your animals. High levels of cortisol can increase energy utilization for maintenance, as opposed to productive use for growth and animal performance.




S. K. Kvidera 2017. Estimating glucose requirements of an activated immune system in growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science. 2017.95:5020–5029.
E. J. Mayorga 2019, Effects of dietary chromium propionate on growth performance, metabolism, and immune biomarkers in heat-stressed finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science: 2019.97:1185–1197.
F. Wu, 2019.  A retrospective analysis of seasonal growth patterns of nursery and finishing pigs in commercial production.  Journal of Swine Health and Production: Volume 27, Number 1, pp 19-33.
F. Laskoski, et. al. 2019. Effects of pigs per feeder hole and group size on feed intake onset, growth performance, and ear and tail lesions in nursery pigs with consistent space allowance. Journal of Swine Health and Production: Volume 27, Number 1, pp 12-18.

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