PH Hog Prices Start to Increase


Despite a sharp rise in imports over recent months creating massive stockpiles of frozen imported pork, local hog prices are starting to increase in the Philippines. After a devastating October that saw market prices plummet to PHP 129/kg (live weight), by the end of November, it had risen to PHP 157/kg (live weight), though not across the entire country. This has likewise translated to lower numbers of stored imported frozen pork, down to 77,330 at the end of November, from 82,068 at the end of October. This is brought about in part by a strong push from producers to eat local pork, as well as the reopening of businesses as COVID restrictions ease.

Feed prices continue to rise, though, with corn at an all time high of PHP 24/kg, and soy at a whopping PHP55/kg, though imports of soy at the top of 2022 are expected to ease the prices slightly.

Turkish Study Examines Pine Needle Powder Effect in Poultry

Powdered Turkish Red Pine needles are being tested for their antioxidative effects in broilers in a study being conducted in Turkey. This reflects the industry’s continued shift to natural products and steering away from antibiotic growth enhancers (AGPs) that help the propagation of antibiotic-resistant strains of diseases, harming the well-being of the industry and threatening the effectiveness of antibiotics in human use.

The study proved promising, in that the 42-day period increased carcass yield in direct correlation with the addition of pine needle powder. Such sources of natural antioxidants could prove extremely useful in countries like the Philippines, where livestock constantly face oxidative stress due to environmental conditions. Check the whole report at allaboutfeed in the link below.

Supplementation For A Fighting Advantage

Cockfighting remains one of the most popular pastimes in the country. Even today, large-scale derbys bring competitors and spectators in from around the world. While training methods and breeding techniques have persisted over time, giving your fighting cocks that winning edge frequently comes down to nutrition.

All other things being equal, providing a little extra for your fighting cocks in the form of supplementation means that they have the advantage when the chips are down. Supplementation also gives them an edge in recovery, whether it’s from training, or in between fights.

The first concern to deal with is stress. Over the course of growth, development, and training, the fighting cock has a higher than normal exposure to stressors, and a failure to adapt to these conditions means poor performance. Chemical stressors, such as those caused by antibiotics, or feed additives impede development as the body focuses on clearing byproducts or strengthening the immune system instead of muscle growth. Physical stressors encountered during training, such as the normal wear and tear of muscle tissue, or micro-fractures in the skeletal system mean more downtime, and poor athletic performance. Biological stressors such as those innately present in the breed, or those caused by the incompatibility with the environment impact long-term health and fighting ability, and psychological stress encountered in fights, whether in training or the actual bouts can dull a fighting cock’s edge in combat. Supplementation supports the birds by making them more adaptable to different stressful situations, for that fight advantage they need to win.

Ensuring the proper function of the CNS has immediate benefits including improving the animal’s psychomotor performance, enabling them to move exactly as their fighting instincts instruct them, as well as improving their concentration and responsiveness in a fight situation. One of the most important factors in creating an effective fighting cock is training, and better stress tolerance aids in this step as well. Supplementation makes training more effective by increasing the animal’s ability to learn and retain the lessons learned in training, which is a clear advantage in a match. The improvements to the CNS also translate into better functioning under pressure, and when the fight starts, in the loud, dusty environment of the fighting arena, there is more pressure on the bird than just the opponent in front of it. All these benefits to the CNS let your fighter respond to the stresses of a fight like a champion.

One of the most important advantages supplementation delivers is increased physical performance. Correct supplementation also delays the formation of lactic acid in the muscles, which translates into greater function of the fast-twitch muscle fibers and the ability to act and react better. All these create a warrior that’s physically at a higher level than the competition, and one that’s more dangerous in combat.

Finally, supplementation aids in recovery. Both training and real fights do damage to an animal’s body. Supplementation helps detoxify the bird’s body from the byproducts of extreme physical activity so the bird spends less time recovering. It restores the micro-tears that naturally develop in muscle fibers after physical exertion, and increases the rate of protein synthesis and nucleic acid to both repair and build muscle, so your animal can bounce back faster, train harder, and fight more effectively.

To learn about natural, antibiotic-free supplementation programs that will suit your flock, contact your local UBC sales agent, and give your fighting birds the edge in combat.

Maximize Animal Growth With the Right Feed

Proteins are an important component of feed for livestock use, especially for younger animals that grow quickly in a short amount of time. The feed equation isn’t all just about crude protein though. Among all the systems developing in growing animals, the digestive system, in particular, the intestines develop at a great pace, requiring large amounts of nutrients to achieve optimal development. The building blocks necessary are usually taken from broken down proteins, reassembled into the necessary structures for animal growth. This process, however, takes time and energy. Because of the additional work breaking down proteins, increasing the amount of crude protein isn’t the optimal approach.

This is where the benefits of bioactive peptides and hydrolyzed protein become clear. These deliver amino acids, the building blocks of protein, for better utilization for growth–the animal gets the building blocks, instead of having to break down protein, to reassemble into the forms it needs.

To better illustrate this point, imagine everyone’s favorite childhood toy, Lego bricks. Imagine a house made out of these bricks–everything is fixed in place, snapped securely, and in a particular order. If you had a Lego house, however, and you wanted to build a car, you would have to break the house down to individual bricks, and then take those individual bricks and start building your car. The process of breaking down the house takes effort and time. If you had a pile of loose bricks, you could just get on with building a car, without having to spend time pulling bricks apart first.

In the animal’s body, the Lego house is crude protein, and the car we want to build are the particular proteins that form the animal’s digestive system. The loose bricks that form the house are Amino Acids–the building blocks that make up protein.

 We can give crude proteins to our animals, but like the Lego house, the animal has to expend time and energy to break these proteins down before it can start to use the components. If we give free bioactive peptides and amino acids directly, the animal can immediately use those to build proteins that in turn develop the animal’s systems, such as the fast-developing digestive system. A better-developed digestive system means better digestion, and better growth.

Palbio, one of UBC’s most effective products, delivers more than just crude protein. It delivers high levels of amino acids and small peptides that help with intestinal development, improving animal performance and growth. It’s also highly palatable, which encourages feed intake, especially after weaning, again increasing the resources the animals have for growth. 

Back to the Lego analogy. Even with the correct raw blocks, assembly can be made faster with special, purposely-shaped pieces for more complicated parts of the car we’re trying to finish. This is Palbio’s secret ingredient. These special pieces are bioactive peptides that are a better fit into the complicated arrangements necessary to complete the building process in an animal’s body. Like the Lego car, the specialty pieces make building faster, more efficient, and more complete. USed as more than jsut a crude protein source, this gives the farmer, a net gain in income, as the increased price the animals go for at market will more than make up for the ration of Palbio in the feed.

Used in the correct proportions as more than just a source of crude protein, the benefits have been proven again and again in farms all over the world.

Using Emulsifiers to Reduce Feed Cost

The current shortage of corn for use in feed production has led to an increase in raw material prices, which in turn cuts into profit margins for many farms in the country. Nutritional requirements still have to be met in order to turn a decent profit, and striking that balance between nutrition and cost can be a difficult task.

There are, of course, options, though some are less attractive than others. There are ways that increase the efficiency of feed, in order to meet the nutritional requirements of the animals while keeping the material amounts the same. Emulsifiers in particular are an excellent way to increase the amount of energy absorbed from the oils in feed.

Oils, which are high in energy, are a great addition to feed for animals when trying to make up for low energy values in feed. However, since oil and water don’t mix, these energy-dense oils don’t easily get absorbed in the mostly water environment of an animal’s  digestive system. While animal (and human) digestive systems have ways to break down and absorb oils, it’s not perfect, and increased amounts of oils can either be wasted, or worse, cause problems in an animal’s digestive system.

Emulsifiers work through a clever molecular trick: one side of the molecule binds readily with water, and the other side binds readily with water. This allows the emulsifier to be absorbed by the watery digestive system, while taking the energy-rich oil with it. This trick also breaks up large droplets of oil into smaller droplets, increasing their surface area, and making absorption easier, similar to how granulated sugar will dissolve faster in water than a single, large sugar crystal. This lets the animal extract the maximum nutritional value from the feed.

Because of their properties, emulsifiers in effect increase the amount of oils absorbed by the animal, which means more energy is available for the animal to use, without actually increasing the amount of raw materials included in the food. While emulsifiers themselves introduce cost to feed formulation, the money saved by reducing feed ingredients more than offset this, giving you net savings.

The Importance of Minerals in Layer Diets

Minerals are a necessary part of any animal’s diet. They are key components in enzymes, the musculo-skeletal system, and egg production in layers. Laying hens in particular have unique mineral needs with greater demands due to the requirements of egg production.

Calcium, a very important mineral in general, is key to a hen’s diet for two reasons: first, for structural integrity of the skeletal system, and secondly to ensure that the hen has enough raw material to create strong egg shells. A lack of calcium not only means weaker egg shells, it also means weaker bones as the chicken’s body leaches calcium from them to form egg shells.

Phosphorus is also an important dietary component. It is important in cellular function, plays a part in egg shell formation, and cell metabolism. 

Zinc is necessary to change raw calcium into a form that’s usable by the animal, and is a key component of the egg shell membrane.

A lack of minerals in a layer’s diet can cause several symptoms, including thin egg shells, misshapen eggs, missing egg shells, and cracked eggs. All of these contribute to poor production and lost revenue.

The obvious solution to the problem of mineral deficiency is to add more minerals to the diet. That’s not all there is to it though. The addition of raw minerals to feed might solve the problem on paper, but it’s very different inside the animal’s body. Minerals in their raw form aren’t easy for the hen’s body to use, leading to wastage, and the persistence of mineral deficiency symptoms. This low bioavailability of some mineral additives may in turn lead to increasing the doses, further increasing cost, and introducing the possibility of mineral toxicity, as well as causing excess, unabsorbed minerals to pass through the animal’s body, polluting the environment.

When addressing problems regarding mineral deficiencies in animals, particularly in mineral-sensitive layers, keeping track of the amount of minerals in the feed isn’t enough. We must also remember that bioavailability, or the ability for the minerals to actually be used, has to be considered.