by Dennis Wilber Eastern Business Unit Show-Rite Manager
Changing feed companies can be a nerve wracking ordeal. There will be some angst, buyer’s remorse, and fear when you decide to try a new feed. This Timely Topic is being written to eliminate the fear of change and make you comfortable with your decision.
The ShowRite program is simple and straight to the point. Our motto, “It’s in the bag”, is exactly what we mean. You don’t have to have a degree in culinary arts or a chemistry degree to feed the ShowRite program. ShowRite uses feed additives in their feed that make for a better feeding experience, is user friendly and cost effective. There is a purpose to each feed and now we are going to discuss each feed, why we feed that feed, and hopefully this will make you a better feeder at the end of the day.
Now let’s discuss three swine feeds that each have a purpose.
We now feed show pigs to body condition and not by weight. Today’s show pigs are genetic freaks that demand special care and attention when it comes to dietary needs. Structure is of the utmost importance and maintaining structural integrity is key to a winning project. We CAN NOT push these pigs too hard or we will ruin their structure. Muscle, body condition, and structure are the three things we consider when choosing the correct feed. We will start with 40 pound pigs and take them to desired market weight. Here are the three feeds and how you use them:
PIG GROWER 40-90 - This feed is designed to develop muscle and structure at the same time. Most pigs are heavy muscled today, so this feed will be limited use on really heavy muscled hogs. The pigs will tell you when it is time to change feeds, you just have to know what to look for. When pigs are getting too much protein, they become heavier muscled and restricted in their movement. Their legs will start to stiffen and their tops will become extremely hard and defined. When you see this restricted movement and too much muscle definition, it is time to change feeds. Protein makes muscle and by lowering protein, we will slow down muscle growth and loosen the pig’s structure. When you see this stiffening, it is time to either blend or change feeds. By blending 40-90 with either 17.5 or EZ-Tone we will lower the protein and slow down the muscle and increase the condition on your project. 19 percent protein, 1.3 percent lysine, 7.0 percent fat.
17.5 FINISHER - This feed is designed for pigs that need to loosen up on structure and cool down muscle development. 17 percent protein, 1.15 percent lysine, and 5.0 percent fat make 17.5 the choice to loosen structure and keep hogs within themselves on skeleton. A good tool to just grow pigs at an even rate without getting you in trouble. Use either in a blend with 40-90 or sole ration for pigs from 80 pounds to market- depending on what you need to do.
EZ TONE - THE feed to tone down muscle, develop rib shape, and loosen structure. This is a lower protein, higher fat feed designed to be fed to hogs that need more cover and rib shape. Ideal to blend with 40-90 and loosen structure and at the same time develop rib and body shape. 16 percent protein, 1.0 percent lysine, 7.0 percent fat.