Calcium formate, Ca(HCO2)2 (or. Ca(HCOO)2), is the calcium salt of formic acid, HCOOH. It contains 31% of calcium and 69% of formic acid, with neutral pH and low moisture. When used in feed additive, it can prevent loss of vitamins and decomposes into free formic acid under the effect of gastric acid, thus lower the pH value of contents in stomach.
The main function of calcium formate is achieved by formic acid. Formic acid can:
1). Lower the pH value in gastrointestinal system, help to activate pepsinogen to make up for the insufficient digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid secreted in the stomach of piglets, and increase the true nutritive value of fodder.
2). Prevent the growth and propagation of colibacillus and other pathogenic bacteria, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacillus, which can protect intestinal mucosa from the toxin invasion produced by Escherichia coli, avoid diarrhea relevant to bacterial infection.
3). Worked as a chelating agent in digestion to promote absorption of minerals.
Market researches in both domestic and overseas show that 1~1.5% of calcium formate added into fodders for weaned piglets can significantly improve the productivity. A Germany study shows that Calcium formate can increase the feed conversion rate of piglets by 7~8% at the ratio of 1.3%, and can reduce occurrence of diarrhea at the ratio of 0.9%.
For 28 day-old weaned piglets, adding 1.5% of Calcium formate into their daily diet and breeding for 25days, the daily gains increases by 7.3% ,feed conversion rate increases 2.53%, energy and protein usage rate has increased 10.3% and 9.8% respectively. Moreover, the diarrhea rate has dropped significantly.
In the breeding for three-breed cross pigs(also known as DLY), adding 1% of Calcium formate into daily diet for weaned piglets, the daily gains increases by 3% ,feed conversion rate increases 9%, and diarrhea rate drops by 45.7%.
Attention needs to be paid on the application time of calcium formate- It should be added just before and after weaning for piglets. This is because the hydrochloric acid secretion becomes stronger as the pig grows up. Also as calcium formate contains about 30% of calcium which can be easily absorbed, the ratio of calcium and phosphorus needs to be controlled well.