Though pigs are omnivores, they still need the right blend of nutrients to stay healthy, resilient and high performing. That’s why producers are always looking for the right dose of nutrients to keep all of their production swine fed and hearty.
What if seaweed could provide your pigs with the nutrients they need to thrive? Here are several ways in which all-natural seaweed feed supplements like Ascophyllum nodosum can help producers keep their animals healthy while reducing feed costs and boosting profitability.
Stronger Immune Response
Large-scale swine producers are no strangers to pandemics. In the 21st Century alone, producers have fought to protect their pigs from diseases ranging from H1N1 and African swine flu to PRRS and more. Keeping swine healthy while they’re living in close proximity is difficult, but there are ways to supplement the immune systems of your pigs.
One way is by helping your animals to cultivate a diverse gut microbiome. When there is a large variety of bacteria living in a pig’s GI tract, harmful bacteria and viruses that enter the pig’s body struggle to establish themselves in their new environment. For good bacteria to flourish and multiply, these microbes need a steady supply of prebiotics. Swine feed supplements made from seaweed can provide a rich source of prebiotics, creating a barrier to pathogens infecting your animals in the first place.
Less Feed for Higher Performance
An appropriate amount of seaweed in your swine feed not only helps to cultivate a healthy gut microbiome but also aids the process of digestion and nutrient absorption. A polysaccharide called laminarin, which is found in brown seaweeds, can help to foster the growth of different digestive tissue throughout the GI tract.
Researchers in a study of post-weaned pigs found that a reliable source of laminarin in their diet helped to increase performance and reduce intestinal dysfunction. Key sections of the small intestine (the duodenum and the jejunum) grew to be more robust and were better at absorbing key nutrients like iron and broken down proteins, fats and sugars.
Another study explored the ways in which marine polysaccharides like laminarin were able to help colonic health in pigs. Compared to a control group, pigs fed laminarin found in certain seaweeds required reduced feed intake for noticeable weight gain and fecal consistency characteristic of a healthy gut microbiome.
Both of these examples result in pigs that maximize the nutritional value of the feed they’re given, helping producers to control expenses as feed ingredients continue to increase.
That’s only the beginning of the benefits. If you want to learn more about feeding swine seaweed, reach out to request a sample of Acadian Kelp™ products.