Food is the most important factor that affects the growth and productivity of livestock. Therefore, depending on the animal’s characteristics, specific conditions, and farming model, farmers need to choose, classify kinds of feed, as well as determine using different feeding methods.
In the household pig production, the nutritional needs of pigs might include many substances; in which, there are higher demands on certain ones while lower demands on others; no matter what, the general requirement for food is adequacy and balance.
The main source of nutrition for pigs is provided through the daily diets, as well as some other supplements mixed with the swine feed or water, or injected directly into the pigs.
Swine feed containing a high concentration of starch
In the basic diet for pigs, starch accounts for the highest proportion, 70-80%, depending on the different growth stages of the pig. The main function of Swine feed containing a high concentration of starch is to provide pigs energy, as well as the needed body fat content.
Some types of swine feed contain a lot of starch, including starch, broken rice pieces, corn, tapioca, sweet potato, rice bran, and more.
Swine feed containing a high concentration of protein
In the basic diet for pigs, protein accounts for 12-23%, depending on the different stages of growth and reproduction that the pigs are in. The main function that protein has is to help pigs grow and reproduce.
Swine feed containing a high concentration of protein can be classified into 2 types; Animal-based foods (fish powder, dried fish, fresh fish, shrimp, crab, small crab, industrial meat powder), plant-based foods (mung bean, soybean, groundnut oil cake, soybean oil cake, coconut oil cake, etc)
Swine feed containing a high concentration of fiber
Fiber accounts for a low percentage of the basic diet for pigs; normally ranging from 3-5%. The main function of fiber is to help pigs digest easily, while providing vitamins and minerals for pigs.
Swine feed containing a high concentration of fiber consists of water spinach, sweet potato leaves, water hyacinth, grass powder, and other ingredients that can be found easily.
Swine feed providing nutritional supplements
Nutritional supplements for pigs are vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, and more. Although they account for a significantly low proportion in the diets for pigs (about 1-3%), they are unmissable factors in pig production due to their important role in the metabolism process of other nutrients, thereby helping pigs grow and reproduce healthily with the strong immune system.
Swine feed providing nutritional supplements includes shell powder from shellfish, bone powder (providing a lot of calcium and phosphorus), synthetic finished products (commonly referred to as premix) delivering minerals, such as Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (O), salt (nacl), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), magnesium (Mg), along with vitamins, such as A, D, E, K, B1, B6, B12, PP, etc.
Types of swine feed commonly used in the household pig production
Mixing swine feed at home
Nowadays, this type of swine feed continues to be used widely in household pig production because of the low price it has from using available and easy-to-find materials.
Still, with this type of swine feed, farmers need to make efforts to purchase and mix raw materials in a formulation aligned to each stage of growth and reproduction of pigs.
Moreover, because of the need to make an order on each low-mass material, it is hard to control the quality and hygiene of food. Besides, after being mixed, the swine feed can be only preserved in a short time.
Note: if you choose to mix swine feed on your own, it is a great idea to look for new material sources, with a characteristic aroma, and without mold. What’s more, to choose a supplier that guarantees the stable quality of the product.
Industrially processed mixed swine feed
This is a type of swine feed that has been combined and mixed by specialized animal feed production units to suit the nutritional needs of pigs at every growth stage.
This swine feed has the advantage in well-calculated and balanced-mixed nutritional components; material sources are strictly controlled and handled, so the quality, safety, and preservation time of food are all higher than of the self-mixed food.
Industrial feeds are often referred to as “bagged feeds” which are handy for livestock facilities on medium and large scales.
Industrial feeds are commonly divided into 2 groups: powder and pellet. These two forms of industrial feed have no major differences in nutritious value, but forms and textures to meet the changed consumption characteristics of pigs in each stage of growth.
In fact, in the livestock market in Vietnam, the pig farming households on a small scale often mix swine feed on their own. However, nutritionists recommend that it is a must to use the specialized industrial feed at least for piglets and pigs in the early stages after separating from herds to supply key nutrients in an adequate and balanced way to pigs at these stages.
Note: if you choose to use mixed swine feed, it is necessary to pay attention to the expiry date and instructions of use, storage requirements, and should not adjust or add in other foods which are not included in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Industrially processed concentrated swine feed
Industrially processed concentrated swine feed has similar formulas to the industrial mixed one; However, feed mills only mix foods with a high concentration of fiber, protein, and supplements.
Meanwhile, farmers would love to use feeds with a high concentration of starch which is available or easy to find locally, such as broken rice, corn, rice bran, sweet potato, and more, to mix with the concentrated feed in the ratio recommended by the manufacturer.
Concentrated swine feed is also manufactured in formulas that suit each growth stage of the pigs. There is usually a slight difference between concentrated swine feed manufacturers in the ingredients and the mixing ratio with foods containing a high concentration of starch; which is the reason why farmers need to pay attention to these factors when deciding to place an order and use a swine feed.
The advantage of concentrated feed is that it is suitable for small- and medium-scale farming conditions in rural areas where foods containing a high concentration of starch are often available and easy to buy, such as rice bran, broken rice, or corn.
This is one of the factors that contribute to reducing significant huge expenses compared to buying completed mixed swine feed; it is also handier when it comes to transporting.
Note: Just like mixed swine feed, if you use concentrated swine feed, you should focus on the expiry date and instructions of use, storage requirements, and should not adjust or add in other foods which are not included in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Supplements for pigs
Except for shell powder from shellfish, bone powder, and so on, most supplementary feed for pigs is processed in the form of premixed preparations to be mixed in drinking water and the swine feed.
Common preparations often include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, some amino acids, with or without a certain amount of antibiotics for disease prevention; Still, there are differences in each substance’s concentration and nutrient composition and mixing ratios in each type of preparation.
Therefore, you need to learn carefully the information printed on the product label to use it properly and wisely. Normally, once using high-quality mixed swine feed and concentrated swine feed, you can limit the use of complementary