It needs gut post-weaning feed intake in piglets

Anne Oberdorf

2 minutes | 20. October 2018
Degree of technical knowledge

Post-weaning feed intake in piglets

Monday morning. 9 a.m. Pig farmer Eric opens the newspaper and gets worried: Not only Europe, also Malaysia is preparing a law to ban the use of colistin in animals. Not only for prevention, but also for therapeutic use. Moreover, also ZnO will be banned in Europe in 2022. When will it become reality in the US?

How should I support my vulnerable weaning piglets during the challenging post-weaning period? At least, in Europe every 4th piglet is affected by diseases like post-weaning diarrhea (PWD). The fear of failure and increasing medication costs is rising. Farmers cannot afford any losses. What should Eric do now? There is no simple solution for such a complex theme like PWD.

It's time to support your piglets from post weaning problems

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Protect your piglets against post weaning diarrhea© Delacon

Actually, antibiotic medication is necessary and without a loss of profit the consequence. In other words: the piglet needs additional protection. In addition to optimizing hygiene and management, optimizing feed intake in piglets post-weaning is a key factor to support maintenance of stable gut function. 

 

Not only the farmer faces challenges: Weaning is a stressful event for young animals. At this stage, the immune system is not fully developed, the protection of maternal antibodies decreases and the digestive tract of the piglet has to adapt rapidly from high digestible sow milk to less digestible pre-starter feed. The post-weaning feed intake and thus growth rate in piglets may decrease.

In addition to adequate post-weaning feed intake in piglets, feed conversion and nutrient uptake are crucial to maintain intestinal resilience and thus support a healthy growth of piglets.

 

  • Eric muses: What does it really take to maintain intestinal resilience in weaned piglets?
  • Can mucilages help to maintain gut integrity by reducing the attachment of Bacteria like E.coli on the intestinal mucosa? 
  • In a second step, the gut microbiota should be stabilized. As Eric read in a scientific feed journal, the innovative approach “Quorum sensing inhibition” may help by disrupting the communication between bacteria, thus reducing their pathogenicity.
  • As inflammatory processes can disturb the intestinal functions, it is of utmost importance to maintain a healthy gut post weaning and support the piglet’s resilience – naturally

References available upon request