Program 2

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Improving herd feed conversion efficiency

Program Manager: Professor Frank Dunshea

Improving herd feed conversion efficiency will optimise production efficiency through improved health, metabolic efficiency and reproductive capacity and will result in:
a) the capacity to routinely and accurately measure feed intake in individual animals and groups
b) products and management strategies that allow manipulation of feed intake/feeding efficiency in pigs
c) reduced reliance on antibiotics in production systems
d) cost-effective nutritional and/or prophylactic treatments for the prevention of disease
e) products and/or strategies to improve production efficiency
f) reduction in sow culling rates
g) reduced overall costs of production through improved pigs/sow/year, reduced sow turnover, and more efficient reproductive performance

Subprogram 2A: Innovative products and strategies for the measurement of feed intake

Subprogram Manager : Dr Bruce Mullan, Department of Agriculture, WA.

Key Deliverables:
a) A method for the practical and continuous measurement of feed disappearance to pigs in groups
b) a method for the practical and continuous measurement of feed wastage in groups
c) novel methods for the measurement of actual feed consumed by individuals within a group
d) prediction of disease onset through the application of feed intake measurements. The research strategy addresses measurements in order of complexity. Feed disappearance is gross use of feed and does not account for waste or individual variation, feed wastage coupled with feed disappearance does not account for individual variation, and actual feed intake is difficult to measure without individual animal intervention. In commercial production, even feed disappearance is rarely measured in real time (except in liquid feeding systems) and it is far too insensitive a measure to predict the onset of disease.

Subprogram 2B: Innovative products and strategies for the manipulation of feed intake

Subprogram Manager : Professor John Pluske, Murdoch University.

a) Novel molecules (eg. cytokines) and feed ingredients (eg. grains, inherent plant compounds, plant extracts) that can be used to manipulate feed intake
b) Elimination of post-weaning growth check and promotion of gut development through stimulation of feed intake. Improved carcase quality through manipulation of feed intake in growing pigs

Key Deliverables:
a) Novel molecules and feed ingredients (eg grains, plantĀ  extracts, inherent plant compounds) that can be used to stimulate or suppress feed intake in pigs
b) elimination of post-weaning growth checks and the promotion of gut development through stimulation of feed intake
c) improved carcase quality through manipulation of feed intake in growing pigs
d) identified gene markers, quantitative trait loci and genetic receptors for feed intake.

Subprogram 2C: Alternative therapies, products or strategies to improve pig production efficiency and reduce mortality of all growth phases

Subprogram Manager : Dr Ross Cutler

a) Nutritional, genetic, immunological and management solutions for the control and/or reduction of disease and mortality as an adjunct or alternative to existing medication programs in all growth phases
b) Development of nutritional strategies and further enhancement of metabolic modifiers and their mode of application (eg. Paylean, pST) to improve lean tissue deposition
c) Implement novel genetic and reproductive tools and technologies to enhance production efficiency

Key Deliverables:
a) Nutritional, genetic, immunological and management solutions for the control and/or reduction of disease and mortality in pigs as an adjunct or alternative to existing medication programs in all growth phases
b) development of nutritional strategies and further improvement of metabolic modifiers and their mode of application (eg ractopamine, porcine somatotropin) to improve lean tissue deposition

Subprogram 2D: Extend and enhance the productive life of the breeding female through novel management and system design

Subprogram Manager: Mr Rob Smits, Rivalea Australia Pty Ltd.

a)Nutritional, genetic and management strategies to improve the productive capacity of the gilt over her lifetime
b)Intervention strategies to reduce seasonal infertility
c)Practical system for the prediction of the time of ovulation

Key Deliverables :
a) Nutritional, genetic and management strategies to improve the productive capacity of the gilt over her lifetime
b) intervention strategies to reduce seasonal infertility.

Subprogram 2E: Advanced reproductive technologies

Subprogram Manager: Associate Professor Mark Nottle, University of Adelaide

Key Deliverables :
a) Novel genetic and reproductive tools and technologies to enhance production efficiency including cloning and semen sexing
b) a practical system for the prediction of the time of ovulation

Subprogram 2F: Physiology and growth manipulation

Subprogram Manager: Professor Frank Dunshea, University of Melbourne

Key Deliverables:
a) Novel exogenous and endogenous technologies for manipulating the post natal performance and carcass composition of growing pigs
b) New technologies for manipulating the reproductive performance of sows and prenatal
c) new techniques and technologies for manipulating the prenatal growth and development of gilt and sow progeny

Subprogram 2G: General Nutrition

Subprogram Manager: Dave Henman, Rivalea Australia Pty Ltd

Key Deliverables:
a) New and novel nutritional strategies to enhance pig growth rates and feed efficiency
b) Nutritional strategies to reduce diet costs and increase carcass value (price)

Subprogram 2H: Grower/Finisher Cost Reduction

Subprogram Manager: Dr Roger Campbell

Research Reports

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