Zinc oxide ban for pharmacological doses: Weaning piglets successfully thanks to phytogenics - part 2

After a short overview about zinc, zinc oxide and weaning challenges, we will continue this article talking about the importance of a well developed intestinal tract, and the power of phytogenics as possible alternative solution.

Gut health is key

Developing the intestinal tract and its microbiota is the key to counteracting weaning challenges. In this regard, a distinction can be made between the phase immediately after birth and after about 3-6 weeks. While in the first phase the intake of colostrum is essential for the protection, growth, and maturation of the intestine, the post-weaning period is the most significant risk for intestinal problems.


The aim here must be to ensure high feed intake through a tasty and highly digestible feed to meet the piglet's energy needs, support the intestinal microbiota, and ensure the development of a normal and healthy gut during the post-weaning period.

A resilient and functional gastrointestinal tract sets the basis for the optimal development of young animals, not only in terms of overall well-being but also in terms of growth and profitability.

The time is right for PFAs

A promising approach to support piglets in the critical time post-weaning is the supplementation of specific phytogenic feed additives (PFA). Plant-based, natural feed additives are in high demand by consumers and comprise various active ingredients. These PFA contain active ingredients covering a wide range of modes of action that help to maintain normal gut well-being and performance of piglets: by stimulating feed intake to support a proper gut development and sufficient nutrient supply for growth as well as assisting the animals’ resilience against potentially harmful bacteria.

“As can be seen, phytogenic support comes from different angles, targeting animals' resilient and balanced intestines.“


In short…

It is evident that we need to implement novel strategies to support piglets in stressful and challenging post-weaning conditions, especially with the ban on zinc oxide at high dosages. Specific PFAs are a promising alternative to support intestinal integrity hence maintaining piglet performance. Phytogenics and their bioactive ingredients are a valuable tool to support the resilience of the piglets post-weaning, thus contributing to the overall profitability of swine production.

 Elisabeth Rohrer

Elisabeth Rohrer

After her study in agriculture sciences at the university of natural resources and life sciences in Vienna, Elisabeth joined the Delacon team in December 2013 as Technical Communications Manager - a position, she always exerted with pleasure. Since 2021, her task areas have been extended and thus, she is also supporting colleagues in writing offside the technical focus as Content Manager. Elisabeth describes herself as a great animal and nature lover and prefers to spend her free time high up in the mountains with her little family, away from the hustle and bustle.

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