- The ban on therapeutic levels of zinc oxide in piglet diets has been estimated to result in losses of up to €1,080 million/year for the EU pig industry.
- Losses of €4.15/pig/year due to higher mortality and reduced daily weight gain.
- Genex weaner is a blend of buffered and free organic acids, with oregano essential oils, on a mineral carrier and has been shown to be an effective replacement for therapeutic zinc oxide in this trial.
- Zinc is routinely used to control post-weaning scours but has been linked to environmental pollution and antibiotic resistance in some bacteria, such as MRSA. (Yazdankhah et al., 2014)
- The European commission has banned pharmacological levels of zinc (>150ppm) in piglet diets by 2022.
Anpario have recently supported a commercial trial in Yorkshire to understand the effects of replacing 3.1kg/t zinc oxide (Zincotec, , SCA NuTec (Provimi Ltd)) in weaning piglets with 4kg/t Genex Weaner (Anpario plc). Piglets were randomly allocated to treatment diets at weaning for a duration of 28 days. Body weight and feed intake were measured on day 0 and 28. ZnO pigs were fed creep 1 and 2 as per standard practice and Genex pigs were fed creep 1 all the way through. All diets contained standard antibiotics for the unit.
|Treatment||Nº Pigs at start||Removals*||Diets||Details|
Diet 1: high spec
Diet 2: medium spec
|Zinc Oxide (Zincotec) 3.1kg/t|
|GEN||177||2||Diet 1: high spec||Genex Weaner 4kg/t|
* Removals is the number of piglets which have died or been moved to a hospital pen
Figure 1. Average daily weight gain (ADWG) and Average daily feed intake (ADFI) per pig for the 28 day trial
- Genex weaner has shown similar performance in ADWG and ADFI to the standard zinc oxide treatment.
- Less pigs were removed from the Genex Weaner group compared to the zinc oxide group which equates to a 2% improvement in survivability.
- The price per treated tonne is similar for the two treatments (Genex is £1/treated tonne cheaper), however in this trial only one Genex weaner diet was fed rather than two and so intakes were higher than expected.
- Return per pig was calculated and Genex Weaner provided a 10% improvement over the zinc oxide control, due to the improved average final body weight (16.56kg compared to 15.6kg).
- This study suggests Genex weaner could be a suitable eubiotic to replace therapeutic levels of zinc oxide.