Mycotoxins and Swine
Pigs consume feed that is likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are extremely widespread in all feeds containing grains, fruits, and protein sources. Including derivatives and metabolites, there are hundreds of different mycotoxins.
It is widely accepted that pig feeds are frequently contaminated with multiple mycotoxins. When present together, these toxins can combine to increase their detrimental effects.
Complex diets containing grain-based feeds all present a risk to pigs. Straw bedding also presents a significant mycotoxin risk.
Typical mycotoxin exposure results in sub acute symptoms such as reduced feed intake, poorer FCR, lower fertility, higher disease rates, and a generally lower profitability.
Pigs are unable to reach their full potential when adversely affected by even low levels of mycotoxins.
High levels of toxins can result in acute symptoms such as elevated disease, necrosis or death. Meat may also be unsuitable for human consumption for exceeding maximum permissible levels of toxins or their metabolites.
Know Your Risk, Take Control
Sources of Mycotoxins
Complex feed systems such as pellets and nuts used for pig feed present a significant risk of multiple mycotoxin exposure.
Such feeds are often found to contain Deoxynivalenol (DON), Zearalenone (ZON), and Fumonisins (FB1 and FB2), and can manifest as chronic health issues affecting performance and productivity.
Pelleting does not destroy mycotoxins. Although any mould present within the feed may be killed, any mycotoxins they have laready produced will remain.
Often, you have little control over the input materials used for pellet production. This makes it very difficult to control the mycotoxin risk without testing.
Straw, a common feed and bedding material, is frequently overlooked as a source of mycotoxins. The fungi responsible for causing producing mycotoxins in grains can also infect the plant stems.
Results from our 2018 straw survey show that straw is frequently contaminated with multiple mycotoxins.
Liquid feed poses the same risks as any other feeding method, although it is often more difficult to test it for mycotoxins. Grains included in the formulation are likely to be the primary source of mycotoxins. Mycocheck is able to test liquid feed for the same suite of mycotoxins as any other feed sample. Please see our page on taking a sample for more information on the best way to submit a liquid feed sample for analysis.