Feed Strategy - May 2018 - 10
10 ❙ FeedStrategy
6 feed additives
Sows also benefit from the presence
of some additives in their diets, but
not all additives benefit sows.
will need 10 times this amount of money, and a megafarm with 100,000 sows will spend almost up to EUR4
million per year, only for sow additives. Take a country like Spain, with 2 million sows, and the potential
for the whole sow additives business is the staggering
figure of EUR75 million.
Of course, these numbers are nothing compared to
the additives business for growing pigs, but this market
is saturated with products, exhausted by over-information and suffering from cheap copies. So, although the
figures there are better, margins and market penetration are weak, especially for new players (either with
new products or new marketing efforts). In contrast,
the market for sow additives is only now picking up
speed, if only because poor management/labor and
super-prolific genetics do not make a good match, leaving a sizeable gap that can be alleviated (in part) by
nutrition. And because nutrition is difficult and timewww.WATTAgNet.com ❙ May 2018
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emale breeding pigs (gilts and sows in reproductive age) are fed diets with few if any additives
because these animals are not considered as valuable as the growing-finishing pigs (saleable product).
Additives - ingredients that enhance the value of
the feed - are expensive. This is because additives
require a lengthy and costly research and development
phase, and the additives business has higher margins
than the margins for traditional raw materials.
Sows (all breeding pigs), however, consume about
1,250 kg or more of feed per year, equating to a very
sizable figure of 1,250 metric tons (MT) of feed per
year for a modest farm of 1,000 sows. If one, single additive could be used at such a farm, that would amount
to at least 1.25 MT of product as most additives have
an inclusion rate that is at least 1 kg/MT.
If we accept the rule of EUR5 for an average commercial additive that is included at the average level of
1 kg/MT, then the cost of such an exercise for the farm
is EUR6,250 per year. On average, in my experience,
sow feeds contain a minimum of three and a maximum
of six additives. Doing the math again, the modest
farm of 1,000 sows needs to spend from EUR18,750
to EUR37,500 per year only for the necessary additives to be used in sow feeds. A farm with 10,000 sows