Get to know how probiotics is very useful when taking care of farm animals. 

by Zac Sarian

Hog Raisers have their own strategies to cut feed costs, which are often said to account for as much as 70% of the cost of production. One fellow we know concocts his own fermented feeds to produce hog feed that costs only ₱10 per kilo.

Not many hog raisers, however, know how to produce their own fermented feeds. So they turn to probiotics that are available in the market. One such probiotic is called Fedgrozyme, produced by Dr. Rene Sumaoang of Novatech.
By using Fedgrozyme, the hog raiser can save as much as ₱538.75 per fattened hog weighing 90 kilos in a growing period of 4 to 5 months, according to Dr. Sumaoang. How is this possible?

Well, hog feed costs an average of ₱1,200 per 50 kilo bag today. Normally, one fattener will consume 4 bags of feeds to attain 90 kilos in a period of 4 to 5 months. That means a total of ₱4,800 worth of feed. When Fedgrozyme is mixed with the regular hog feed, the pig only eats about 3.5 bags of feed to attain 90 kilos. The 25 kilos saved (a half bag) are therefore worth ₱600. The total cost of Fedgrozyme used in the 3.5 bags consumed by the pig is worth only ₱61.25. This means, therefore, that the pig only ate ₱4,261.25 worth of feeds with Fedgrozyme. Hence, there is a savings of ₱538.75 per fattened hog. This is reached by subtracting ₱61.25 from the half bag of feeds saved worth ₱600.

Fedgrozyme contains enzymes that help the pig digest the feed efficiently so that the nutrients are easily absorbed by the animal. Fedgrozyme also contains beneficial microorganisms that prevent the proliferation of harmful organisms inside the pig’s gut. This means that the harmful microbes are controlled. Therefore, the use of antibiotics is minimized or they are not necessary at all.

FOR CHICKENS – Dr. Sumaoang has also come up with two formulations of essential vitamins and minerals with enzymes and beneficial microorganisms for poultry. These are called Nutradec (for oil-based vitamins and minerals) and Biolyte for water-based vitamins and minerals.

Small amounts of these formulations are added to the drinking water of chickens to improve their growth and to make them more resistant to diseases and other stresses. With Nutradec and Biolyte, there is less need for antibiotics.

Nutradec and Biolyte are now standard inputs used by contract growers of a big integrator producing broilers. The broilers are supplied to major food chains.

ENZYMES, WHAT ARE THEY? Dr. Sumaoang explained to us what enzymes are and what they do. They are biological compounds found inside our bodies as well as outside. They speed up reaction but never take part in the reaction. There are several kinds of enzymes, each with special capability.

There is, for instance, the enzyme called protease. This breaks down the protein in the food we eat so that it is readily absorbed by the cells of the body. Then there is the enzyme called amylase which breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars so that it is readily absorbed by the body as energy source.

Another source of energy for both humans and farm animals is fats and oils like those found in meats, lard, and coconut oil. Oils and fat are said to provide 2.5 times more energy than carbohydrates, but these have to be broken down by the enzyme called lipase.

Another enzyme is called lactase. Its function is to break down milk components so that the nutrients can be absorbed by the body. These components include protein, carbohydrates, fats, and lactose. Dr. Sumaoang says that lactose is a major component of milk and if you don’t have lactase to break this down, the result will be diarrhea. You will suffer from loose bowel movement.

A fifth major enzyme is called cellulose. This breaks down fibers into carbohydrates after which amylase will take over to break down the carbohydrates into simple sugars to be absorbed by the body.

MAN OF SCIENCE – Scientists like Dr. Sumaoang are really contributing much to the economic development of the country. He finished a course in agriculture, major in plant pathology and industrial microbiology, in Los Baños. Later, he got a scholarship from the Berlin Institute of Fermentation Technology where he specialized in enzymology.

After that, he also took up studies at the Institute of Molecular and Biological Research in Braunschweig in lower Saxony. There he specialized in the production of single cell protein from microorganisms and materials of plant origin like rice, potato and others.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s February 2017 issue.