Orffa Benelux successfully held its annual symposium

On October 3th and 4th, Orffa Benelux organized its 24th symposium. The symposium was held on two different locations in both Belgium and the Netherlands, to optimally provide nutritionists from both countries of the latest insights on important pig topics. Together, about 120 people attended the symposium.

Legislation on copper reduction

Paul Bikker from Wageningen Livestock Research, The Netherlands, kicked of the symposium to clarify the recently implemented regulations on copper levels in pig diets. The background of these new regulations were explained. As a consequence of the new regulations, some serious losses on performance parameters were predicted. Alternatives to prevent such losses, could be found in for instance drinking water applications.  The underlying mode of actions of copper supplementation are not fully clarified yet. Therefore it was concluded that a better understanding of these mechanisms is needed, in order to target alternatives.

In order to complete the picture on copper reduction in pig diets, Brecht Bruneel from Orffa Additives gave a presentation on a proposed alternative by Orffa. Instead of copper sulphate, hydroxy copper Excential Smart C should be considered. As hydroxy copper has higher production benefits with lower copper inclusions, hydroxy copper can provide a Smart solution for the new copper legislation.

Selenium to reduce oxidative stress

Michaela Falk from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway, presented findings from her PhD study on selenium requirements in fast growing, feed efficient pigs. Selenium can be deficient in the diet. Not just by low dietary levels, but also in for instance stressful situations such as infections or the weaning period. Michaela studied several sources of selenium in grower pigs. She concluded that specific dietary levels of sodium selenite induced additional oxidative stress, whereas selenomethionine positively influenced immune response and antioxidant capacity.

Gut Health and Probiotics

In the afternoon, the attention was brought onto gut health and the relation with probiotics. Klaus Männer from the Freie Universität of Berlin gave a presentation on nutritional strategies to optimize gut health in sows and piglets. In order to have a healthy balanced gut, the amount of pathogens in the microflora should be less than 1.1%. There are several critical timepoints in a pigs life, that can disturb this balance. Through nutritional approaches gut health can be managed. One of these approaches are probiotics. With several mechanisms, probiotics can diminish the risk of pathogens and usage of anti-microbial treatments can be reduced.

Calsporin can have some serious benefits in sow, piglet and fattening pig nutrition, which was also shown by Tom Rijsselaere from Orffa Additives. It became clear that with usage of Calsporin, it is possible to manage weight losses of sows during gestation and lactation. By reducing these losses, positive effects were found on sow longevity and piglet performance. In addition, a new registration for Calsporin in fattening pigs is available since August 2018.

Amino Acids

To conclude the symposium, William Lambert from Ajinomoto Eurolysine provided the latest insights on branched-chain amino acids. It was highlighted that it is important to study valine, isoleucine and leucine together, as these are highly related in the amino acid metabolism. These branched-chain amino acids are often limiting in broiler and piglet diets. This can be due to for instance imbalanced feed stuffs or excess of leucine.

In conclusion, it was a successful symposium and we are looking forward to next year!

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