Today’s higher-producing sows and faster-growing pigs being raised indoors require producers to be more diligent when managing the vitamin D status of their herd. To fully optimize the genetic potential within their herds, and to improve overall nutrition status and profitability, DSM has introduced Hy•D for swine.
DSM, with the aid of an external panel of experts, have concluded that the use of Hy•D in swine is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Hy•D, which is approved in other countries, is now available for U.S. swine producers.
Hy•D is a proprietary metabolite of vitamin D, 25-OH-D3 that supplements vitamin D3. Adding 25-OH-D3 directly into the diet is highly beneficial to animal health and productivity. Hy•D is consistently and efficiently absorbed by the animal, eliminating the need for conversion in the liver, so optimal vitamin D levels are reached more quickly.
When combined with existing vitamin D sources in the diet, Hy•D helps overcome absorption issues frequently experienced by swine and results in higher 25-OH-D3 levels in the bloodstream, DSM said. The 25-OH-D3 is critical for the utilization of calcium and phosphorus for stronger skeletal structures, improved immune system function, and optimized animal performance from birth to finishing. Field and experimental trials from around the world confirm these results. In addition, producers outside of the U.S. have been successfully using Hy•D for swine.
Research has also shown optimal vitamin D nutrition in modern swine production is essential for ideal sow health, reproductive longevity and skeletal maintenance, improved neonatal nutrition and the development of unborn pigs.
With feed and health-related costs making up a large portion of overall swine production expenses, producers are constantly looking for new ways to improve pig and sow performance throughout the system and to increase bottom-line returns.
“Feeding Hy•D provides swine with a fast track to a strong skeleton and better performance,” said Dr. Jeremiah Nemechek, technical support manager, swine, for DSM Nutritional Products. “When they are fed Hy•D, swine are more likely to produce more selected gilts and to experience fewer farrowing difficulties. For swine producers, this has a direct impact on production and profits.”
Another way swine profitability can be increased is by sows and gilts producing healthier, faster growing piglets throughout their lifetime. According to Nemechek, Hy•D has been shown to help sows and gilts improve their lifetime performance and to maximize their profit potential by improving their ability to metabolize vitamin D.
“It’s known in the industry that skeletal frame and leg weakness are common reasons for culling sows. Feeding Hy•D can help more sows stay productive longer, producing more heavier piglets at birth and at weaning,” Nemechek said.
Hy•D has also been shown to affect the number of gilts being selected for the sow farm, according to Nemechek. Field trials around the world have shown that seven percent more gilts were selected on average when their diets were supplemented with Hy•D.
When animals experience insufficient levels of vitamin D, it may inhibit their growth, decrease their appetite, or cause them to lose weight. However, those aren’t the only health issues producers should be concerned with. Nemechek said rickets with flared growth plates, and osteomalacia in adult swine, are additional symptoms of insufficient vitamin D levels that, if left unchecked, can negatively affect the animals’ lifetime production.
“Improved vitamin D nutrition is possible due to the exclusive mode of action that enables Hy•D to bypass the animal’s liver. It’s a faster, more efficient mode of action, compared to simply absorbing it through sunlight, or from consuming livestock feed supplemented with vitamin D3,” concluded Nemechek.
DSM encourages producers to closely work with their nutritionist or veterinarian to ensure their herd has the optimum vitamin D3 levels at each life stage. Measuring 25-OH-D3 serum levels is the accepted method for determining an animal’s vitamin D3 status.
For more information on Hy•D, contact your feed company or a DSM account manager. Additional details about Hy•D for swine and Optimum Vitamin Nutrition guidelines can be found at dsm.com/animal-nutrition-health.