Smart combination of additives alleviates the effects of weaning

Growth performance of weaned piglets can be significantly improved by smartly combining proven feed additives. New research showed that a new innovative concept resulted in higher body weight and a significantly lower feed conversion ratio.

In commercial pig husbandry, weaning is a stressful event associated with changes in the social and physical environment of the piglet and a dietary shift from consuming mainly sow’s milk to completely solid feed. At the time of weaning – at three to four weeks of age – the gastrointestinal tract is also still under development. For instance, young piglets do not produce enough bile acids and phospholipids for efficient fat emulsification. Furthermore, several studies have shown that levels of pancreatic enzymes, such as lipase, are low in weaned piglets, limiting nutrient digestion. All these factors together have a major impact on the piglets’ health, mainly by disturbing the microflora and limiting gut development, increasing the risk of post weaning diarrhoea. A so-called ‘post-weaning dip’ is difficult to prevent.

Powerful combination

To prevent a weaning dip, young piglets should be supported by feeding them a specific weaner diet which is designed to safely guide them through this stressful period. In addition to carefully selected feed ingredients, a smart combination of feed additives could help these piglets to enhance gut health, optimize nutrient digestion and improve their immune function. That is why, after a long-term study on the efficacy of single products, a feed additive concept based on a powerful combination of lysolecithins and glycerides of butyric and lauric acid was developed.

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