Long time no see guys!
September was a busy month with a lot of traveling. It has now been 3 months into my entrepreneurship ride, with an average of 5 hours sleep everyday, I feel that I am starting to grasp a better understanding of this new role...just a tiny bit because I discover something new that I need to learn every day!
Over the past few months, I constantly feel nervous but excited, tired yet energetic, stressed but blessed, desperate yet optimistic...A complicated feeling to be described by words, but maybe "grateful" is a perfect word to summarize --- I have been overwhelmed by the incredible trust and support from many people during this initial stage of my new venture and I can already see the unlimited value this experience provides for my personal and professional growth. SO grateful! Now, I can't wait for the day when my first order comes! Hahaha
Alright, without further ado, this is a long overdue post --- earlier this month, I was back in Indiana attending the 2019 Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference. My very first time at MSNC, I was so happy to see many old friends from school who are on the pig-side, and genuinely enjoyed all the talks.
I believe the proceedings will be made available online later. In the meantime, here are my brief summary and notes from each talk.
1). Dr. Margareth Overland (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
Food for Norway Program – Biotechnology Processing to Develop Novel Feed Ingredients from Land and Sea.
Interesting talk on novel protein sources using biotechnology! Three novel sources were discussed:
a). Bacterial meal produced from natural gas (e.g. methane-utilizing bacteria) can replace soybean meal and be included in pig diet at 8-12%; and can replace fish meal in salmon diet at 18-36%. Additionally, bacterial meal can prevent gut inflammation in salmon.
b). The lignicellulosic biomass component from trees like spruce trees can be processed using enzymatic hydrolysis and then be used as a fermentation substate for yeast production. The yeast produced can be used as a feed ingredient (not as an additive like we do now) and be added in feed at higher inclusion rate as a protein source. For instance, their research showed that in piglets, yeast can be added at 14.6% and yield similar performance as with SBM, while had better nutrient digestibility.
c). Seaweed (brown kelp) from the ocean could be processed into 2 parts: a high protein content part to be used directly in feed, and a low protein part (which is high in non-digestible carbs) to be used together with trees to product yeast as discussed above.
(This made me think of LaMer...the super expensive skin care product that highlights kelp as their active ingredient. Seems that sometimes our animals are living a fancier life than us 😜)
2). Dr. Hans Stein (U-I)
Update on Amino Acids in High Fiber Diets: Threonine and Branch Chain Amino Acids.
a). Threonine --- High fiber content in the diet can increase threonine requirement, this is because fiber increases mucin secretion, which is high in Threonine; higher fiber also decreases N digestibility and N retention.
When growing pigs are fed a high fiber diet, their optimal SID Thr:Lys would increase to 0.71 compared to 0.66 in a low-fiber diet.
b). Corn protein and sorghum protein are always high in Leucine, which can lead to excessive Valine and Isoleucine metabolism and then impair growth. Also, high branched-chain amino acids will compete with Tryptophan to enter the brain, and therefore reduce production of serotonin (which is synthesized from Trp).
Indeed, when pigs were fed a 100, 150, 200, 250, 300% of the requirement for SID Leu, increased Leu level reduced ADG, ADFI, and G:F, decreased N retention and decreased serotonin concentration (important hormone that regulates appetite, which may partially contribute to the reduced feed intake).
Can additional Trp prevent the drop in serotonin in pigs fed high-Leu? Only partially. So excess dietary Leu can be a problem! (In a Corn- SBM-DDGS diet, every other amino acid can be adjusted to 100% of requirement, but Leu is at the 147-168% level...)
3). Dr. Kola Ajuwon (Purdue)
The Role of Fiber in the Regulation of Brain Function: Implication for Welfare and Appetite Regulation in the Pig.
Fiber can affect brain functions and regulate appetite & mood through its effect on the microbiome! Not eating enough fiber? Risk of depression may increase. (Seriously, eat more veggies guys)
This effect of fiber is through the "Gut-Brain Axis" mainly by 2 routes
a). via Short Chain Fatty Acids, which are fermentation product from fiber and can affect the gut-derived hormones like CCK, GLP-1, and PYY that are involved in appetite.
b). via affecting neurochemicals (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, etc.) produced in the gut.
So...dietary fiber may have important implication on welfare and appetite regulation in pigs.
4). Dr. Brian Richert (Purdue)
Mushroom Products in Nursery Pig and Sow Diets.
(I love mushrooms!!) Seems that mushroom products can become novel feed additive for pigs too! They are known to have "a long track record of health effects such as hepatic, renal, cardio-vascular, respiratory, nervous, sexual, immunological, as well as having anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activities".
One particular species of mushrooms, cordyceps, was of interest. When piglets were fed 1 or 300 ppm mushroom product for 39 ways, results showed that 1ppm was too low to have any effect, while 300ppm can outperform Carbadox-fed group (all diets contained Zn and Cu).
Then Dr. Richert's group continued to investigate the effect of 300ppm, 600ppm, or a step-down treatment (900, 900, 450, 300, 150 ppm for week 1 to 5, respectively) of mushroom product in piglets fed for 35 days. Results showed that the Step-Down treatment was able to increase feed intake...A follow-up study found that when 300ppm mushroom product was used in combination of Carbadox, pigs had better performance, although not as good as Zn+ Cu, but use of Zn and Cu may be limited going forward.
So it seems that mushroom products could be used as a supportive product in weaning piglet diets as a possible antimicrobial replacement. More research is needed as to its mechanisms and the best way to use the product.
To be continued...
2019 Midwest Swine Nutrition Proceedings. Indianapolis, IN.
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