Gut Function is Key to Weaned Pig Performance

Management tips on how to manipulate the pig’s digestive system to improve performance post–weaning and reduce susceptibility to disease from BPEX in its Target 2TS newsletter.
calendar icon 27 March 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Feed intake is often a key mediator of changes in the intestine after weaning, although other influences such as diet protein source can alter gut structure and function as well. Management can help manipulate the digestive system, which is often immature at weaning, to improve performance post-weaning and reduce susceptibility to disease:

  • Creep feeding pre-weaning initiates important digestive and immunological developments

  • Digestibility of fat and proteins are both factors that can cause digestive upsets. Milk protein-based diets are known to cause fewer problems than soy-based diets

  • Water is an important nutrient for a weaned piglet. Improve water and feed intake immediately after weaning by feeding liquid

  • The piglet is often reluctant to eat for the first 24 to 48 hours post–weaning but this can be encouraged by adding adequate feed space in the form of long troughs to improve the accessibility of feed. Also, at this stage, piglets like to all eat together.

Aim to avoid a check in feed intake followed by a sudden increase, which can often lead to an upset digestive system.

March 2012

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