Manage Swine Manure Storage with Ecocare® Feed

Sow : Sow Production

Grow/Finish : Grow Finish Production

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Purina Animal Nutrition

Managing the swine manure pit is a never-ending project on pork production facilities.

Does that sound familiar? We have a nutrition solution that can help.

The challenge with swine diets with DDGS

Distillers dried grains with soluables (DDGS) are a common feed additive used to lower the cost of swine diets. But they can cause increased pig water consumption, increased pig manure volume and the need for more swine manure storage capacity.
If manure volume increased by 20 percent per year, the necessary swine manure storage capacity could be close to 126,000 gallons in a 1,200-head barn. This can quickly negate the practicality of feeding swine diets with DDGS.
In addition to requiring more storage space, an increase in swine manure storage volume can increase the risk of a pit overflow or manure spill. It can also increase pig barn odors and noxious gasses.

A swine feed program for manure pit treatment

The Purina Progress to Profit® program has a solution: EcoCare® feed, a line of in-feed technologies. The line includes
  • EcoCare® Pak
  • EcoCare® 2-lb. Cap Pak, designed for manufacturing facilities that can efficiently handle an inclusion of rate of 2 pounds per ton in a complete feed.
These products provide specific manure-handling technologies in a constant flow through the pig’s diet. Each pig dropping that falls into the manure storage pit contains the components needed to reduce manure viscosity, improve nutrient recovery from the pit and help recover storage capacity.
Consider the advantages of using EcoCare® feed to improve water usage and retain manure storage capacity when trying to overcome the adverse effects of swine diets with DDGS. 

How do swine diets with DDGS impact manure volume?

DDGS add fiber and protein to swine diets. Increased protein in pig diets can cause pigs to drink more water to support the excretion of nitrogen through urine. Diets that contain 30 percent or more DDGS also can result in reduced digestibility of protein and amino acids, allowing these nutrients to pass through the pig into the pit.1,3
Fiber also can cause additional excretion. Most of the fiber in DDGS is insoluble and has low digestibility, which means it is excreted rather than digested.
Higher insoluble fiber and reduced protein digestibility mean more undigested material goes straight into the manure. These nutrients can create thicker slurry and could result in more solids in the pit. This higher manure volume may compromise manure storage capacity for the year and could make manure management more challenging.

How much volume do swine diets with DDGS add to manure?

An Oklahoma State University study indicated a linear increase in manure volume when pigs were fed 10
to 40 percent DDGS in their diets.2 These results are consistent with a second study done in partnership with Purina Animal Nutrition that reported:
  • 37 percent (p=0.2) increased water intake
  • 23 percent increase in manure volume (p=0.3) when finisher pigs were fed diets containing 20% DDGS instead of corn- and soybean meal-based diets.4 (See Figure 1)
Impact of swine diets with DDGS
The Purina research study also evaluated the impact of adding EcoCare® feed to a swine diet with 20 percent DDGS on water intake and manure volume. The study indicated the inclusion of EcoCare® feed helped overcome the effects of feeding DDGS on pigs’ water usage and manure volume.4
  • 26 percent reduction in swine manure volume
  • 17 percent reduction in pig water use

What’s the best swine manure pit treatment?

It’s common practice to empty the pig manure storage pit in the fall and remove half the waste in the spring. However, this practice allows the formation of a thick layer of sludge and can lead to increases in the loss of swine manure pit storage capacity over time.
With a potential 20 percent increase in manure volume from feeding swine diets with DDGS, this practice might not be enough to avoid manure spills (pit overflow).
Using swine manure pit treatment products is popular. However, the effectiveness of adding swine manure treatments directly to the pit might be limited by:
  • How well the manure pit treatment mixes with a large volume of manure.
  • Increased biosecurity risks.
  • Risk of injury during application when pigs are inside the building.
A nutritional solution to managing swine manure storage can be an effective way to manage manure volume, protect the environment from manure spills and minimize odors. Learn more at purinamills.com/ecocare.
Hanson et al., 2012. Animal Feed Science and Technology. Vol. 172, Issues 3–4, Pages 187-193
Kim et al., 2011. ASAS Midwest Meeting, Abs.# 155.
3Pilcher et al., 2015. J Anim Sci. 2015 Mar; 93(3):1124-32. doi: 10.2527/jas.2013-7309.
4Purina internal research in collaboration with Oklahoma State University, 2011. Effect of EcoCare® addition to diets containing distillers dried grains with solubles on nutrient excretion and gaseous emissions. Final report prepared by S. Carter and H.J.Kim. Internal research.