Position/Title: M.Sc. by Thesis - Swine Nutrition
I completed my undergraduate degree here at Guelph in Animal Biology with a minor in Nutraceutical and Nutritional Sciences. I have been fascinated with biology since I was young, and I have worked with animals every chance I could get on farm and in vet clinics. My interest in nutrition started by taking courses in wildlife, pet, swine, poultry and dairy nutrition, as well as seeing first-hand how important nutrition is for animal health. I am interested in the complexities of differing gastric systems and their functions to break down and absorb nutrients to contribute to overall health. I worked at Agri-Food Canada and a pet food testing research facility where I gained valuable research skills in collecting and analyzing data.
My research is in swine nutrition with Dr. Lee-Anne Huber. I am working at the Arkell Swine Research Station on the use of precision feeding in sows using electronic sow feeders. Throughout gestation, sow nutrient requirements can change almost daily. Currently, industry standard is giving these sows 1 diet throughout their lives that closely meets their nutrient requirements throughout gestation. However, there are many factors that go into how the nutrients are distributed throughout the body and how much is needed. The age of the sow has a great impact since a younger sow would require higher nutrient levels to go towards not only the growth of her piglets but to her own growth. The precision feeding system I am using is able to take a mixture of 2 different diets (a high protein diet and a low protein diet) and combine them in specific amounts based on a pre-determined calculation. This calculation is done through a program that takes into consideration the age and weight of the sow, and the day of gestation. This type of feeding should give precise nutrient quantities, which will diminish the amount of excess nutrients that is a cost to the producer and optimize growth of the sow and her piglets. This will result in more uniform litter sizes and more robust piglets.
I am continuously collecting data of around 100 sows and their offspring and will finish data collection in January 2020.