Sea Weed & micro encapsulated zinc as an alternative to extra zinc

Experience from costumers who has used the products

In the past year there has been focus on how to reduce extra zinc usage in the pig production because of the risk for MRSA (CC398) and antibiotic resistance.

We in Vilomix has the past three month tested sea weed as an alternative to extra zinc usage. In a couple of the Herds we have also tested sea weed together with micro encapsulated zinc. This zinc source passes undigested through the gut and will first be absorbed in the small in-testine – where it is supposed to work.

The overall conclusion for these "trials" has been, that the farmer has more or less been able to take out the extra zinc application in his Herds.

One Herd has used three trial-teams:

  • Team 1: The control team without zinc or sea weed
  • Team 2: Only with sea weed (4 kg/t)
  • Team 3: Only with extra zinc (3 kg/t)

The control team performed the worst way which was also the expected scenario. Team 3 had the best results, but team 2 with only sea weed showed almost the same level of good results.

The difference has although been so small, that the farmer would like to use only sea weed in the future.

In another Herd it became much more easy for the piglets to start with the new type feed (10-15 kg) without zinc, when the piglets from 6-9 kg was given less than 3 kg zinc.

Instead of 3 kg zinc, they are given 1 kg zinc + 2 kg sea weed and from 10-15 kg they are only given 2 kg sea weed.

We have until now used sea weed in four Herds and all Herds the results have been very posi-tive with fully or partly phased-out extra zinc. But the conditions on the Herds might differ, that is why we do not recommend any Herds to "go all in" from the beginning.

If you want to use sea weed, you can have a talk with your Vilomix nutritionist. We will then make a plan for you on how to reduce/phase-out the use of extra zinc in your Herd.


All our standard high-profile Unistarters have microencapsulated zinc, probiotic, organic mi-cro minerals and 1 % organic acid. The combination of these and high digestible raw materi-als, is in our opinion, making a good mix with added sea weed. Here lays a potential to achieve a substantial reduction in the use of extra zinc.

Sea weed costs half of what veterinarian zinc costs. The sea weed should be added up to levels of 3-4 kg/t of compound feed for piglets from 6-10 kg and 1-2 kg/t for piglets from 10 to15 kg. If sea weed and extra zinc is combined there should only be added half of the above doses.