Weaning is tough on a piglet’s digestive system as they transition from mom’s milk to feed. Adding acids to starter pig diets has been done for many years to help improve absorption of nutrients and improve post-weaning performance of pigs.
Jon Bergstrom is a senior technical support manager for DSM Nutritional Products. He says they’ve introduced an ultra-pure form of benzoic acid called VevoVitall for inclusion at up to .5% of the diet, which studies have shown to be the optimum feeding rate for maximum growth.
"We had it approved at the .5% for use in swine diets, and it had been used in some acid blends before, but it was only permitted up to .1% of the diet and usually in the form of sodium benzoate so it was buffered," he says. "We think providing a pure benzoic acid will provide much greater benefits to the pig than the lower inclusion levels or even a buffered acid source."
Over the past five years, DSM conducted 10 individual trials involving over 4,000 pigs, under a wide range of university and commercial settings.
"Our data in North American trials would show an average improvement and average daily gain in the nursery of 6%-7%. A lot of that is improvements in feed conversion, but also in the older pigs or later nursery phases, it’s usually an improvement in feed intake response as well," he says. "And so, we’re helping that pig to grow faster and be more efficient in the utilization of its feed which is very valuable to our producers."