There is never a time in swine production where producers aren’t facing challenges in some form or fashion. Many challenges – whether they are nutritional, health or management related – tend to be seasonal. Fall is typically a favorite season for many producers, lending optimized weather conditions for growth. But, hot summer temperatures bring on a distinct set of obstacles.
Piglets supplemented in the early phase of the nursery period with 200 ppb of KemTRACE® Chromium had a 3 to 5-point improvement in feed to gain versus pigs that did not receive supplementation. In addition, chromium supplementation in the early phase provided a 1.6 lb to 2.4 lb final weight advantage over piglets that did not receive chromium supplementation.
In a commercial research facility, the effect of KemTRACE® Chromium on growth performance of weaned pigs was evaluated. Pigs supplemented with 200 ppb of chromium provided a 0.79 lb advantage over pigs that did not receive chromium supplementation.
In this research trial and in previous research trials , supplemental chromium has been shown to improve sow and pig performance. The use of chromium propionate as a management tool in commercial swine production to maximize sow unit performance is supported in the research done to date.
Stress has a tremendous impact on sow performance. When a sow is experiencing stress conditions, cortisol is released, resulting in behavioral, metabolic, immunological and intestinal changes. Studies have shown that cortisol can have a negative impact on sow performance. Chromium has been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol, thereby reducing the negative impacts of stress.
Chromium supplied as a trace nutrient has been demonstrated to improve sow reproductive and piglet performance when supplied in gestation and lactation sow diets. This study showed that feeding KemTRACE® Chromium improved sow and piglet performance when fed to sows in lactation and gestation at a rate of 200 ppb.
A commercial study involving over 65,000 sows was initiated to study the effects of adding 200 ppb KemTRACE® Chromium as a source of chromium in gilt and sow rations. The most notable improvement was a 13.7% reduction in non-productive sow days. During the same period, sow production data showed a steady increase in the average parity in this herd.
When an animal is experiencing stress conditions, cortisol is released - resulting in behavioral, metabolic and immunological changes. These changes may have an impact on feed intake, which reduces the amount of glucose available to the animal. In this way, stressors like the environment, health challenges, stocking density and more are often contributing factors to reduced feed intake and lead to energy loss.
Chromium propionate increases mobilization of blood glucose into tissue for improved animal performance during reproduction. Studies have shown chromium propionate in gestation and lactation can result in improved sow body condition, fewer non-productive sow days, heavier weaned pigs and decreased pre-weaning mortality. Depending on the pig's need, chromium supplementation can result in greater feed intake and improved body condition, particularly as it relates to combating stressors.
KemTRACE® Chromium had an impact on feed intake, final body weight, average daily gain and feed efficiency in both thermoneutral and heat stressed pigs compared to pigs fed no chromium. KemTRACE Chromium continues to demonstrate consistent growth improvements when fed to pigs in both thermoneutral and heat stress conditions.
A study was conducted evaluating the effect of feeding KemTRACE® Chromium, KemTRACE® Zinc and ENDOX® Dry antioxidant in combination to finishing pigs in both a thermoneutral and a heat stress environment. In this study, the pigs fed the combination of products as a heat stress pack showed difference in total gain.
Heat stress is a costly issue facing pork producers. Heat stress significantly reduces feed intake, therefore directly impacting growth performance of pigs and profitability. Feed intake isn't the only performance parameter affected. Reduced growth rate, decline in fertility, increased mortality and more non-productive sow days are just a few of the other ways heat stress negatively impacts all aspects of pork production.
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