A major role for the stockperson on the farm is to judge the interaction between the pig, its age and/or productive cycle against the quality, content and intake of feed. The role of management in this respect has an important influence not only on the levels of disease in the herd but also whether the pig maximises its biological potential.
The essential nutrients include protein and amino acids, energy, essential fatty acids, water, vitamins and minerals. A guide to the normal requirements is shown in Fig.14-1 both by weight of pig and ration type.
If you feel you have a feed related problem study the list of clinical problems associated with nutrition. First identify the problem by symptoms and this will suggest potential nutrient deficiencies or problem areas. You would be advised at this time to consult with your feed supplier because a knowledge of the composition of the diet will then assist in determining more specific areas, for example insufficient energy or lysine for the particular age group of pigs in that environment. Fig.14-3 relates the clinical signs to possible causes where there are deficiencies or excesses of minerals and similarly Fig.14-4 of nutrients and vitamins, although it would be uncommon today to see many of them. Details of individual nutrients are given in subsequent pages. The most common problems on farms today however relate to the failure of the diet to satisfy the amino acid and energy requirements for the pig.
Clinical Problems Associated with Nutrition
Bone fracture, malformed bones, lameness
Nervous symptoms, incoordination, lameness
Poor growth, poor appetite
Poor litter size
* Likely to occur. Others uncommon or rare