Pork Insight Articles

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Nutrition to Support Healthy Weaned Pigs

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on July 6, 2018

Author: Joel Spencer

Reference: Banff Pork Seminar Proceedings 2018

Summary: The bottom line of the producer can be significantly impacted at weaning. The intestine serves two distinct functions in the weaned piglet, absorbing nutrients and secreted water and electrolytes and it serves as a pathogenic barrier. When the piglet is not consuming dry matter it affects the integrity of the intestine ultimately resulting in negative implications such as:

  1. opportunity for enteric pathogens to colonize
  2. reduced nutrient utilization
  3. nutritional hypersensitivity reaction to dietary compounds

Intestinal health can also be affected by feeding a nutrition program that does not fit the changing physiology of the piglet.

Technology to Improve Gut Health and Immunity Development in the Piglet

  • Probiotics, direct fed microbials (DFM’s) and live cultures: through oral administration
  • Prebiotics: unique substrates that only specific bacteria can use
  • Botanical products: From a class of products called phytogenics. Improve intestinal health and animal performance.
  • Acidifiers: Low cost feed additive that has been shown to be beneficial in the nursery

Ensuring a good initial feed intake aids in optimal growth, but it is also important to transition the piglet well so that intakes and growth are not interrupted.

Inorder for a nutrition program to be successful, considerations need to be taken with regard to:

  • Quality control of ingredients
  • Removing access nutrients that would increases nutrients available for pathogenic bacteria
  • Matching nutrient delivery to the physiology of the group of pigs
  • Utilizing feed additives in a cost effective manner.

 Nutrition to Support Healthy Weaned Pigs

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