Zinc-free weaning with vilomix

High levels of zinc oxide (ZnO) are an effective weapon against the gastrointestinal bacteria that frequently cause diarrhoea in piglets during the weaning transition.

From June 2022, however, the EU will enforce a ban on the use of ZnO in weaner diets – a decision that has launched an intensive race to find an alternative solution.

The weaning transition is one of the most challenging periods in a pig’s life, associated with stress, poor growth and diarrhoea. Solutions have typically revolved around optimising the feed. But, as the EU deadline approaches, it is becoming increasingly clear that the solution cannot be found in a feed ingredient alone.

Instead, ZnO replacement requires a more complex solution where health status, management and hygiene must be combined with feeding strategies and feed solutions in an overall solution to weaning diarrhoea. 

Feeding solutions from Vilomix

Once piglets have received colostrum and are well into the habit of suckling, there are many benefits to be gained from supplementing the sow’s milk with a tasty starter feed.

The sow’s milk is essential for strong piglets. High-quality feed also helps prepare piglets for weaning. What’s more, it ensures good growth in the farrowing unit, and for the first few weeks after weaning.

Feed uptake is crucial for the piglets to get off to a good start in the early weaning unit.

80% of a pig’s immune system lies in the intestines. That’s why Vilomix believes in composing feeding solutions capable of maintaining the correct bacteria levels found there. Protein from monotonous sources will starve the beneficial bacteria.

That’s why Vilomix uses a wide range of easily-digestible proteins to put as little strain on the intestinal system as possible. 

Starter feed from Vilomix are composed of ingredients with a high nutritional value for suckling and weaning pigs, and are customised for use in both the farrowing and early weaning units. Apart from ingredients with a high digestibility, our solutions contain various additives to promote well-being and daily gain.

Prestarters and concentrates from Vilomix

Get your piglets off to a good start with the feeding programs from Vilomix

Practical videos

The vast field practise learned during the last 2 years is captured in below 9 videos. See for yourself and implement the practices one-by-one!

How to phase out zinc oxide

We have visited the Danish pig farmer Anders Nykjær, who has been part of the Vilomix/SEGES zinc-free project. Listen to him talk about his experiences from the project and motivation to participate.

Senior advisor at Vilomix Jens Svendgaard also talks about the specific learnings that have been seen across the participants so far when it comes to phasing out zinc oxide.

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