Optimising the microbial quality of liquid feed for pigs: a microbiome-targeted approach
Liquid feeding of pigs is popular in some EU countries and is the feeding method of choice in Ireland, where >70% of pigs are liquid-fed rather than dry-fed. It involves mixing dry ingredients, either with food industry liquid by-products or water. Once mixing occurs, microbial proliferation begins. Hence, the microbial quality of liquid feed and liquid feed system hygiene varies hugely from farm-to-farm. This may help to explain the variability of data regarding the benefits of liquid feed for pigs. As a result, strategies that ensure production of liquid feed which is consistently of a high quality are needed in order to ensure optimal growth, feed efficiency and health of liquid-fed pigs. The objectives of this WIT/Teagasc project are to perform a detailed exploration of on-farm liquid feed microbial quality and to assess strategies for optimization of feed quality. This will be achieved using a microbiome-targeted, approach which will involve next generation sequencing of the microbiome of feed and pig gut samples banked from previous on-farm sampling and feeding trials. The strategies investigated will be deliberate fermentation, organic acid supplementation and sanitation of feeding systems. Data obtained will be correlated with previous pig growth data so that pig industry guidelines can be developed on the most suitable strategies to use, thereby maximizing the impact of the proposed research.
This is a 4 year full-time structured PhD programme
Stipend: €12,000 p/a
Fees: €4,500 p/a
Research costs: €2,000 p/a
For any informal queries, please contact Dr Gillian Gardiner, +353 51 302626
For further information on this scholarship and how to apply, please visit View Website