Respite from tail-biting in pigs

Attending the launch of Piglyx: David Morgan, Caltech:Crystalyx; Dr Marian Scott, Devenish Nitrition and Keith Boland, Devenish Nutrition

Attending the launch of Piglyx: David Morgan, Caltech:Crystalyx; Dr Marian Scott, Devenish Nitrition and Keith Boland, Devenish Nutrition

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A new nutritional supplement provides an effective and straightforward way to help reduce the extent of tail biting behaviour which could have big benefits.

“Piglyx from Caltech Crystalyx is a mineralised block, best considered to be an 5kg treacle toffee supplied with a purpose designed, floor mounted holder,” explains David Morgan from Caltech Crystalyx.

“When placed in the holder on the floor of the pen, the exposed surface of the block becomes sticky allowing regular intakes by the pigs while preventing over-consumption.

“It helps satisfy their natural curiosity and rooting instincts. By giving them something to lick and play with it distracts and occupies them and helps reduce the inclination to tail biting. In pens where there is a known problem, blocks can be put in to help reduce incidence.”

Carcase condemnation is one of the factors making tail biting a major animal welfare and economic problem for the pig industry, reducing liveweight gain and increasing veterinary and treatment costs. The initial drug cost to treat a case of tail biting is around £5.

“In trials the average cost per pig is £1.30 with lifetime intakes of 1kg. Carcase condemnations reduced by up to 80% when blocks were added to pens,” Mr Morgan continues. “One block and holder should be used for every 40 pigs in a pen, irrespective of age, size and weight. The blocks may not remove the problem but they certainly play a major part in reducing the severity.”

The new product, which is supplied in airtight boxes, is placed in stainless steel holders which are quick and easy to clean. Intakes will range from 5-10g/day in rearing pigs through to 10-20g/day in fattening pigs.

Piglyx will be distributed on the island of Ireland by Devenish Nutrition Ltd, who will also be a key partner in GB.

“We are delighted to be in partnership with Caltech Crystalyx in bringing Piglyx to the market,” said Keith Boland from Devenish.

“Devenish pride themselves on bringing new concepts and solutions to the industry and Piglyx is an ideal fit into our existing product offering.”

To purchase Piglyx, contact your local Devenish feed specialist, or alternatively contact head office on +44 (0)2890 755566.