Show Pigs 2019
Doug Mace, Kent Nutrition Group
Show season is here, and although the basic format of fairs is the same, a LOT of changes have taken place in the past several years. Kent Feeds has tried to keep pace with fast-changing swine genetics, and we’re constantly making changes to feed these newer pigs. Here are a few things to consider…
What breed of pig do you have? There are subtle differences in feed efficiency, rate of gain, deposition of fat, muscling ability, etc. Do your homework and be proactive to get your pig where it needs to be. When is the targeted show? We can make sound feeding adjustments ONLY when we know how many pounds of gain are needed in how many days. And, make sure you have access to a scale to weigh your animal along the way. All too often I get a call to help turn around a desperate situation that could have been “tweaked” along the way with a lot less hassle. Lastly, ask for HELP if you’re not sure! There are TONS of resources available nowadays.
For many years, the show side followed the commercial trend for highly muscled pigs and even breeding stock. Not anymore! The current trend (which I am in favor of, BTW) is for smooth, balanced, sound pigs that can move well, have correct structure and have a look of longevity in the case of breeding stock. How has this changed how we’re feeding them? Remember that swine nutrition is a balancing act of protein and energy. Too much of one or the other can change the way pigs grow and fatten. We have seen our show feed formulas come down in protein, have a higher level of fiber and bulk, and some of the cutting-edge vitamin/trace mineral additives we’ve learned from the commercial side are now commonplace here. When I was a kid, we fed oats to pigs routinely. Then it was gone. Now it’s back in the form of granola—and the pigs LOVE it and perform SUPER on it. These are just a couple of examples but I think you get the point.
Feed programs are varied, but here are a few of Kent’s options:
*Complete Pelleted Feeds
-Launch SK and Drive SK: our newest formulas with granola
-Hands Down and Prime Time: proven winners, formulated for top gain
*Show Pig Base Mix: Can be made up at WS just for you. More economical but equally well fortified
-Swine Show Starter Base: for younger pigs OR to “tweak” protein in mixes
-Show Pig Supplement: If you want to grind your feed at home
*Essential Show Products: fine tuning for your pig. Most are special order from WS Ag
I hope I’ve given some useful information. Have a good show season, hope you win, but the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!