It’s all about piglets!
This is a very personal issue. I have been involved in piglet nutrition for almost 25 years now (counting college years - I am not THAT old!) In fact, both my Master's and Doctorate degrees were on piglet nutrition.
But you may be justified to ask, why piglets?
Piglet nutrition is so challenging, because it's still such a mystery, a true enigma. It is an art rather than a science, or more like a cryptogram that remains elusive. I freely admit that my most successful commercial piglet formulas have been designed with a "feel" about what is right, rather than what the books say is correct.
But, if piglet nutrition is the "holy grail" for pig nutritionists, then the quest must be for a single answer, one solution and one formula. Do you agree?
As a field nutritionist, I have seen no good or bad piglet nutrition practices; only successful or failed programs. And, this was because someone (often me), failed to understand the context in which piglets were raised. For example, low-health piglets require a very complex diet with specialty ingredients, but giving them high levels of amino acids is a waste of money. On the other hand, healthy piglets will do just fine with simple ingredients (really, very simple ones!) but here one must spend on nutrients like lysine. So, what is wrong in one case might be right in another. So, there is no single magical feed formula. Fascinating, no?
Now, what about additives? This is a whole other story, but it suffices to say additives in piglet nutrition have overtaken the minds of researchers worldwide, if only because they come from such a multi-billion-dollar industry.
For many, finding the next "super" additive is the dream of their career. Perhaps not as glorious as unravelling the mystery of low feed intake post-weaning, but at least, certain additives can fill the gap, or so it appears!