Dairy products in animal feeds are expensive. Again. And like any other time, there is the pressing question: Do we lower lactose concentration or find an alternative source? Both are possible — preferably not at the same time!
Lactose and its replacements is one of my favorite topics, one that I have studied, researched and worked extensively in the field as a nutritionist. It is not difficult to adjust lactose levels downwards when other intake-enhancing ingredients are present in the diet. Likewise, it is not difficult to replace lactose with other simple sugars. The difficulty is balancing these changes in the context of a given data. It is one thing to build a new formula using lactose alternatives and improve it over time, and a totally different proposition to change an existing formula.
If you would like to read more about lactose and replacements, I would encourage you to visit the following articles. Although not the complete story, they do provide an insight of the basics on how to deal with expensive lactose.
- Replacing expensive lactose in piglet feeds
- Molasses as a feed ingredient in low-cost piglet diets
- How much lactose for piglet diets?
There is one thing I will never agree with when it comes to expensive lactose: I would rather use less lactose or an alternative, but never a lower quality source of lactose. And even when to comes to using acid versus sweet whey, it is best to use good quality acid whey versus low quality sweet whey, and here is why: Which whey for piglets?