BioZyme facility examines postweaning stress in piglets

New nursery research unit conducting trials focused on strategies to decrease postweaning stress in pigs.

BioZyme Inc. has made a commitment to research and development of new products for its recently launched commercial supplement brand, LiquiFerm, through the designation of a postweaned pig nursery and research unit at its Winding River Research Farm in Savannah, Mo.

Since the farm's opening in November 2015, BioZyme researchers have conducted two trials focused on evaluating strategies to decrease postweaning stress in pigs. The team, which is led by Dr. John Sylvester, BioZyme director of research and development, is focused on gastrointestinal maturation and function with regard to transport mechanisms and inflammatory response. The team measures feed and water intake, bodyweight and general measures of health like fecal score, depression and body temperature.

"Information is power," Sylvester said. "The more we know about postweaned pigs, the better we are at making recommendations to support a healthier and more productive growing animal. We are ... defining gastrointestinal health by evaluating the effects of products, compounds and strategies at the cellular level to determine the mode of action directly and indirectly at the tissue level."

BioZyme has made a significant financial investment and committed personnel resources to the new facility. The nursery occupies a large area within the farm's main facility office and maintenance building and contains 16 raised pens constructed with Double L Excelerator plastic flooring. The pens are set above stainless steel drops that take waste to a drain, which exits to a sump tank with a maceration pump to grind the waste for application in the fields. Each pen has stainless steel, three-hole Choretime feeders and stainless steel cup waterers with nipples. Each pen is also fitted with digital flowmeters to measure water consumption and a Dosatron medicator system. The temperature, humidity, fresh air and exhaust in the nursery is controlled by an Automated Production Systems TC5 controller.

The nursery can accommodate up to 64 postweaned pigs for short-term studies, with the number decreasing as the pigs get larger and are sold to a local buyer. BioZyme procures pigs from local pork producers, such as genetic multipliers or commercial producers.

Sylvester said BioZyme and its research team are prepared to grow the facility to meet the demands of the business and the industry.

BioZyme, founded in 1962, develops and manufactures natural, proprietary products focused on animal nutrition, production, microbiology and reproduction. With a continued commitment to applied research, BioZyme offers a complete line of highly available vitamin, mineral, trace mineral and protein supplements for a variety of animals, including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, horses and dogs. Headquartered in St. Joseph, Mo., BioZyme reaches a global market of customers throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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