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The influence of nutritional and management factors on piglet weight gain to weaning in a commercial herd in Denmark

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  • J Callesen, Danish Pig Production, Denmark
  • D Halas, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch, Australia
  • Knud Erik Bach Knudsen
  • J C Kim, Animal Research and Development, WA, Australia
  • B P Mullan, Animal Research and Development, WA, Australia
  • Wilson R H, Wandalup Farms, Australia
  • J R Pluske, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Australia
  • Department of Animal Health and Bioscience
  • Nutrition and Production Physiology
The effects of weaning age, type of creep diet and the classification of piglets as ‘eaters' or ‘non eaters' of creep feed on weight gain to weaning were examined. Four antimicrobial-free diets were offered from day 14 of lactation: (i) wheat-soy based diet with animal and vegetable (‘mixed') protein sources (COMM), (ii) heat-processed rice (HPR) with barley hulls and potato starch and mixed protein sources (RBPS), (iii) HPR with sugar-beet pulp and mixed protein sources (RSBP), and (iv) HPR with mixed protein sources (R). Pigs were weaned at an average of either 27 (early) or 33 (late) days of age. A dye (indigo carmine) was added to each diet at day 24 of lactation in both groups to classify piglets as ‘eaters' or ‘non eaters' of creep feed, based on appearance or non-appearance, respectively, of dye in faeces. Pigs weaned late weighed 1.4 kg more (P < 0.001). Weaning age interacted with diet type and eating classification for weaning weight (P < 0.001). Of the 1067 piglets where classification of the faecal dye was possible, 829 (77.7%) were ‘eaters' and 238 (22.3%) were ‘non eaters'. This qualitative estimate of creep feed consumption did not influence weight gain to weaning (P > 0.05).
Original languageEnglish
JournalLivestock Science
Pages (from-to)117-119
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • Dietary composition, Weaning age, Creep feed

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