Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

Improving piglet health in a ZnO-free world.

Posted August 30, 2019 by Dr. Sangita Jalukar, Senior Technical Services Manager

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With the rapid reduction of zinc oxide (ZnO) and impeding ban on its use altogether within the European Union, swine producers are looking for alternate ways to minimize health issues in piglets. Known for its efficacy in controlling postweaning diarrhea (PWD) in pigs, ZnO has been a staple on swine operations for decades. But in recent years, the harmful environmental effects have been brought to light, creating a sweeping international demand to do away with its use altogether. One farm, Agro-M Zrt., in Orosháza, Hungary, turned to CELMANAX™ to boost piglet immunity and reduce the number of piglets needing antibiotic treatment.

What is CELMANAX, exactly?

CELMANAX works proactively in the gut to build resilience. Pigs benefit from Refined Functional Carbohydrates™ (RFCs™) delivered through CELMANAX. From supporting growth of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, to reducing mycotoxin damage to the gut, RFCs help maintain high performance in the face of gut challenges.

When fed to sows, CELMANAX can optimize immunoglobulins in colostrum and, ultimately, deliver optimal immunity to piglets. After weaning, piglets are especially susceptible to E. coli infections and PWD. Feeding CELMANAX at this stage prevents attachment of E.coli and other harmful bacteria to the intestinal lining and limits susceptibility to these bacteria.

Integration on the farm

Founded in 1976, Agro-M Zrt. is a 2,200-sow operation farrowing 58,600 piglets annually. After using ZnO for decades, the farm’s manager began to consider other options to help produce more resilient sows and piglets.

The farm began feeding CELMANAX in 2014 to improve colostrum quality in sows, decrease PWD in piglets and improve preweaning body weight. CELMANAX is fed to the sows during gestation and lactation and to piglets in creep feed and nursery diets. Compared to ZnO, piglets fed CELMANAX on the operation consistently need less antibiotic treatment.

Value-proven results

Agro-M Zrt. conducted two nursery trials in 2014 after transitioning to CELMANAX. The trials compared piglets from sows fed CELMANAX supplemented with low level zinc to a control group that continued use of ZnO at 3000 ppm (Fig. 1). The results showed that piglets from the CELMANAX group had lower instances of PWD and higher weaning weights compared to the control group.

Integrating CELMANAX into Agro-M Zrt.’s operation has allowed the farm to take a huge step forward. Agro-M Zrt. no longer uses ZnO at a therapeutic level, but instead uses zinc only as a trace mineral in nursery diets. Not only has CELMANAX helped the operation produce healthier piglets, but it’s also reduced the demand for antibiotics and other medical care, dropping operating costs significantly.

CELMANAX vs. zinc oxide on piglets chart

Adopting CELMANAX can cure producer headaches by proactively keeping piglets healthy in a ZnO-free—or at least ZnO-limited—world. Whether it be resilient piglets or higher economic returns, CELMANAX is a ZnO alternative that meets producers’ needs in a variety of ways.

Read more on CELMANAX as an alternative to zinc oxide.





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About Dr. Sangita Jalukar

Dr. Sangita Jalukar has extensive experience across the poultry production industry. She currently serves as a senior technical services manager at ARM & HAMMER™ where she is involved in the development of new products, conducting multi-species research trials and providing technical assistance to the field sales teams. Dr. Jalukar received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, India, and earned a post-doctoral fellowship from the University of Iowa.



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