Tropper mixed diets reduce aggression and increase performance

4 Feb 2020

Link between pellets and gastric ulceration

An increasing body of research has shown a link between finely milled feed found in some meals and pellets and an increased risk of gastric ulceration. Gastric ulceration can lead to reduced intakes and reduced growth. It has also been linked to increased instances of tail biting and aggression which is likely to be as result of pain or discomfort.

Harbro trial

A Harbro trial was designed to investigate the effects of meal vs pellets on both pig performance and aggression.

Trial details:

·         Side by side trial in modern fully slatted facility in East Yorkshire

·         Just under 1000 pigs in each group

·         One group were fed pellets from a major compounder, one group were fed Tropper mixed meal.

Summary of results:

Significantly increased levels of tail biting in compound group.

From this extensive study, with a large sample in both groups, the group fed pellets had 95 pigs removed due to tail biting (nearly 10%) and of these, 11 were later condemned by the abattoir.

The group fed meal showed increased mortality of -5.95%

Significantly improved performance reported in Tropper fed group:

·         The group fed meal showed an improved FCR of 5.04%

·         The group fed meal showed improved growth of 30g/day

·         Overall net income of the group fed meal was £8,192 more than the group fed pellets.

Obvious behaviour difference

Dave Stephenson, Harbro Head of Pig and Poultry commented “when we walked through the two sets of pigs there was an obvious difference in their behaviour, with the compound fed pigs more active and agitated and the meal fed pigs more still and relaxed.”

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