NATUPIG concept: LfL Bavaria achieves convincing test results in pig fattening
The NATUPIG concept for fattening pigs was independently tested last year at the Schwarzenau Teaching and Experimental Farm run by the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL). The latest assessments of the experiment confirm that using NATUPIG for fattening enables a decrease in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and heavy metal (primarily copper and zinc) excretions alongside a reduction in protein feed content (soybean meal) without any drop in performance.
A total of 192 (DLxDE) x Pietrain pigs weighing 30-125 kg were fattened in two cycles. The pigs were housed in pens in groups of 12 and fed a liquid diet from a communal trough fitted with a sensor. The feed blends consisted of wheat, barley, grain maize, soya (44% CP) and mineral feed containing 12% lysine.
Feed blend formulation
The ration formulation in the control group met the requirements for significantly N- and P-reduced feeding. The soya content in the trial group was reduced by 2% (30-60 kg), 2.5% (60-90 kg) and 3.0% (from 90 kg), with no compensation with free amino acids. The P content was also reduced in the trial blends by around 13% in comparison to the control group, and trace elements were supplied purely through organic compounds. In the trial groups, the CERAVITAL XP product was supplemented as a component of the mineral feed. In summary, the pigs in the control group were fed a standard mineral feed and NATUPIG M 120 was administered to the pigs in the trial group.
The crude protein content in the feed blends of both the control and NATUPIG groups were reduced by 0.7/0.9/1.0% as a result of the reduction in soya in all performance stages. The lysine content also fell accordingly due to the lack of compensation with free amino acids. In line with the NATUPIG concept, these blends also contain less mineral phosphorus but more 6-phytase.
Feed conversion rate results could have been improved
With identical daily weight gains of around 900 g (see Fig. 1), the trial group indicated a significant improvement in feed conversion rate by around 0.2 points (6.2%) (see Fig. 2).
Reduced N, P, Cu and Zn excretion
The N and P excretion figures were calculated using a substance balancing formula. In this case, the NATUPIG concept resulted in a 14.3% reduction in N excretion and 25.0% reduction in P excretion (see Fig .3). The balancing of values derived from the difference between intake and accretion was overwhelmingly confirmed by the slurry analyses. The slurry (dry matter basis) also showed a significant reduction in the presence of heavy metals, specifically copper (-43.6%) and zinc (-57.0%) (see Fig.4).
Carcass quality as a marketing criterion remains high
Another important marketing factor is of course carcass quality. The differences in feeding had no impact on either the lean meat content (60.15% on average) or the fat measurement (13.85 mm across all groups). As such, a high level of muscle growth without excessive fat deposits could be achieved despite the significant reduction in soya and crude protein in the blends.
During the trial, the reduced soya content in the blends coupled with the improved feed efficiency (improved feed conversion rate) resulting from the NATUPIG concept enabled an average of 10 kg of soya to be saved per fattening pig.
This represents a potential annual saving of 30.0 tonnes of soybean meal for 1,000 fattening spaces and 3.0 cycles. During this trial under current feed market conditions (March 2022), a cost advantage of € 8.68/fattening pig was generated over both cycles by applying the NATUPIG concept (see Fig. 6).
In terms of the difference in feed formulations alone, applying the NATUPIG concept equates - depending on the feed market price structure - to a cost advantage of € 0.53-0.55/100 kg of fattening feed (see Fig. 5).
The trials in Schwarzenau / at the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL) have independently confirmed that the use of soya in fattening can be significantly reduced by applying the NATUPIG concept. As a result of the interaction between CERAVITAL XP active ingredients, AMINOTRACE trace elements and a highly effective phytase, both N and P excretions as well as heavy metal excretions can be significantly reduced. Not only that, a very positive zootechnical performance was also achieved, as reflected in the high carcass quality. As such, the NATUPIG concept enables an increase in efficiency in addition to a reduction in the cost of feed itself.
You can find a German-language article on the trials at the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL) on its website: