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?
It's time to support your piglets post weaning
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.
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.
Eric muses: What does it take to support piglets post-weaning?
- An adequate feed intake post weaning by highly palatable feed can help to support maintenance of the piglet's gut resilience – naturally
- By supporting the maintenance of a healthy gut under challenging conditions, an adequate feed intake and -uptake can contribute to overall profitability
- Moreover, the gut microbiota should be stabilized. As Eric read in a scientific feed journal, the innovative approach “Quorum sensing inhibition” by specific phytogenic ingredients may help here...
References available upon request
As a young girl, I dreamed of exploring the deepest jungles. I have always been fascinated by the unknown, the diversity and beauty of nature. Nevertheless, I did not explore the jungle – I studied the rumen of cows at university. After all, it’s also mysterious and varied – it just smells a little bit more austere.