Supplementing newborn intrauterine growth restricted piglets with a bolus of porcine colostrum raises rectal temperatures one degree Celsius

C. Amdi*, L. L. Jensen, N. Oksbjerg, C. F. Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Hyperprolific sows have increased litter sizes but also result in more piglets that have been exposed to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). These IUGR piglets are likely to have a low rectal temperature and lower blood glucose levels compared with normal piglets at birth. Therefore, we hypothesized that a colostrum bolus at birth and/or heat from an external source would have a positive effect on blood glucose levels, rectal temperatures, and growth up to 8 h postpartum. In addition, liver glycogen and blood values at 8 h were investigated. Eighty-four piglets were classified at birth (time = 0) as IUGR based on their head morphology and randomly allocated to 1 of 4 treatments (n = 21) in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement: 1) with or without a porcine colostrum bolus (12 mL/kg BW at birth) and 2) with sow or isolated from sow with external heat. Piglets were removed from the sow before they had suckled and were numbered and dried, and initial whole-blood glucose, rectal temperature, and BW were recorded. Piglets in the 2 treatments isolated from sow were placed under a heating lamp (150 W) with a temperature range of 35 to 39 degrees C. Rectal temperatures, glucose, and BW were measured again at 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 h after birth, and a final plasma sample and organs (liver and brain) were removed at 8 h. There was a time x colostrum bolus interaction (P = 0.026) and a time x sow interaction (P <0.001) for whole-blood glucose. The piglets that were given a bolus had greater glucose levels after 1 h postpartum (time = 1 h) than piglets without a bolus at birth, but from time = 2 h and onward, there was no difference (P > 0.05). There was a time x colostrum bolus interaction (P <0.001) and a time x sow interaction (P <0.001) on rectal temperatures. One hour after birth, the piglets with a bolus had a greater rectal temperature compared with piglets without a bolus (37.5 vs. 36.6 degrees C; P <0.001) and the piglets that had been isolated from the sow had a greater rectal temperature compared with the 2 treatments with sows (37.8 vs. 36.3 degrees C; P <0.001). Four hours after birth, rectal temperature was not affected by treatments. In conclusion, both heat and a colostrum bolus increased rectal temperature by 1 degrees C an hour after birth. However, after 4 h, no differences were found between the treatments. Interventions to help IUGR piglets postpartum most likely need to be frequent to have any effect on whole-blood glucose, rectal temperatures, and BW over the first 8 h.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume95
Issue7
Pages (from-to)2968-2976
Number of pages9
ISSN0021-8812
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • BIRTH
  • EARLY POSTNATAL VITALITY
  • NEONATAL PIG
  • PERFORMANCE
  • SOWS
  • SURVIVAL
  • THERMOREGULATION
  • WEIGHT-GAIN
  • colostrum supplementation
  • glucose
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • liver glycogen
  • piglets
  • rectal temperatures

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