Optimum Nutrition and Reduced Stress at Weaning Maximises Lifetime Productivity

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Farmscape for February 26, 2019

Full Interview 9:03 Listen

A swine nutritionist with the Prairie Swine Centre says giving the weaned pig the best possible start will result in higher productivity through it’s entire development.\ Scientists working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc are striving to create feeding strategies for weaned pigs that maximize profits, reduce reliance on in-feed antibiotics and improve robustness while maintaining performance. Dr. Dan Columbus, a Research Scientist Nutrition with the Prairie Swine Centre, says post weaning represents a critical time of development and management then will impact the pig’s overall performance and well being.

Clip-Dr. Dan Columbus-Prairie Swine Centre:
The combination of environmental, nutritional and social stressors experienced by pigs at this time contribute to a post weaning lag and an increased susceptibility to disease. It is of great interest to the swine industry to identify dietary strategies to reduce costs in nursery diets without compromising growth performance and gut health in order to maximize profits. I think it’s becoming more apparent that there is that key relationship between management and the long term. Basically setting these pigs up early to succeed by enhancing support at this early period is critical. A number of strategies can be used including improved nutrient availability and utilization from feed stuffs, improved gut development and enhanced health status and reduced exposure to pathogens.
Some of these strategies are in their infancy. For instance how do we feed a pig through enhanced robustness or to withstand a disease stress. A lot of these are brought on by changes related to antibiotic use in livestock and our increased interest in those factors. Others have been studied for a longer period of time, such as mycotoxins in pig feed, but as in the case of Deoxynivalenol  or vomitoxin we have yet to yield a viable solution so there’s still a need for continued work.

Dr. Columbus says we want to reduce costs, reduce environmental footprint and enhance social sustainability by improving welfare and reducing antibiotic use.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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