Publication
Title
Effect of co-mingling non-littermates during lactation and feed familiarity at weaning on the performance, skin lesions and health of piglet
Author
Abstract
This study investigated how co-mingling of non-littermates before weaning and feed familiarity at weaning in a 2 × 2 factorial design can minimize the adverse effects related to conventional weaning. Before weaning, piglets were either conventionally reared or co-mingled by grouping piglets from 3 litters during 10 days before weaning. At weaning, piglets from 3 litters were distributed over 3 pens in the nursery. Conventionally reared piglets from 3 litters were mixed, whereas the co-mingled piglets were housed with those they were co-mingled with before weaning. At weaning, piglets were either or not provided with 0.538 kg creep feed per piglet in creep feeders, next to the weaner diet. Creep feed was the same provided the last 4 days before weaning. Hence, the treatment groups were conventional with (n=9) or without creep feed (n=9), and co-mingling with (n=9) or without creep feed (n=9). Co-mingling non-littermate piglets did not affect weaning weight, daily weight gain and creep feed intake during d-10-d0 before weaning. Co-mingling resulted in higher skin lesion scores of head and ears in piglets at d1 before weaning (P < 0.05), but in lower skin lesion scores at the snout, shoulders and flanks at d2 post-weaning compared to conventionally reared piglets (P < 0.05). Co-mingling did not affect salivary cortisol at d1 post-weaning . Hematocrit, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin were higher in the co-mingled piglets at d2 post-weaning (P < 0.05). Co-mingling resulted in higher glucose concentrations in blood (P < 0.05) and in a tendency for lower NEFA concentration in serum at d2 post-weaning (P < 0.10). Feed familiarity at weaning increased average daily feed intake and weight gain during the first 5 days post-weaning (P < 0.05). During d5-14 post-weaning average daily feed intake tended to be lower (P < 01.0) and daily gain was lower (P < 0.05) in creep feed fed piglets compared to no creep feed fed piglets. Nevertheless, feed familiarity did not affect overall piglet performance during the first 2 weeks after weaning. Feed familiarity did not affect blood hematology and biochemical blood parameters, except the level of basophils at d2 post-weaning. Neither housing nor feeding strategy affected piglet performance between d14-42 post-weaning and ear and tail damage at d42 post-weaning . In conclusion, pre-weaning co-mingling of piglets and feed familiarity at weaning each contributed to a better adaptation of the weaning process but did not affect long-term piglet performance.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Livestock science. - Amsterdam, 2006, currens
Publication
Amsterdam : 2023
ISSN
1871-1413
DOI
10.1016/J.LIVSCI.2023.105344
Volume/pages
277 (2023) , p. 1-12
Article Reference
105344
ISI
001092259600001
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
INTRODUCTION AND OPTIMIZATION OF NOVEL REARDING STRATEGIES TO OBTAIN MORE RESILIENT PIGS
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 29.09.2023
Last edited 26.03.2024
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