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Piglets

Our recent trial at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, demonstrated that piglets were significantly heavier at 7 weeks of age if Progres® was added to sow late gestation and lactation diet and piglet creep feed and post-weaning diet. The study was presented at the 12th European Symposium of Porcine Health and Management (ESPHM 2020+1) by PhD student Karim Uddin. Progres® addition in sow and piglet diets significantly reduced the incidence of weaning diarrhea and improved the growth of piglets.

The weaning process can be detrimental to piglets and it often leads to low feed intake, inadequate weight gain, diarrhea, and eventually increased mortality. In previous trials, Progres® has been shown to improve sow colostrum yield and colostrum IgG when added to feed in late gestation. This study aimed to determine the effects of Progres® supplementation on piglet growth and incidence of post-weaning diarrhea.

Experimental design

40 sows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were selected based on body condition and parity and allocated to Control (C) and Progres® (P) treatments. Progres®, 1.5 kg/t of feed was added in the diet from three weeks before the expected date of farrowing and was continued until weaning at four weeks.

Piglets from both Progres® (P) and Control (C) sows were allocated to Control or Progres® creep feed treatments creating four different creep feed treatments respectively, PP, PC, CP, CC. At weaning, piglets were again allocated to Progres® (P) or Control (C) weaning feed treatments creating eight different treatments respectively, PPP, PPC, PCP, PCC, CPP, CPC, CCP, CCC. The study continued until the piglets were seven weeks of age.

Results

Piglets from the Progres® fed sow (P) that received Progres® in creep feed (PP) and post-weaning diet (PPP) were 1.6 kg heavier at seven weeks of age compared to the piglets that never received Progres® (CCC) (figure 1).

Figure 1. Piglets body weight gain at birth (BWB), weaning (BW 4W) and at seven week (BW 7W); (a:b = P <0.05)

The post-weaning average daily gain of the PPP piglets was 34 g/d higher than CCC piglets (306 vs. 272 g). Progres® fed piglets had a significantly lower incidence of post-weaning diarrhea than the control piglets (figure 2), with a numerically lower incidence of post-weaning mortality (4.4% vs. 9.3%).

Figure 2. Piglet diarrhea prevalence at different age (a:b = P <0.05)

We have validated a biomarker showing the anti-inflammatory mode of action of Progres® in piglets, which has been planned to be published with more details in a peer-reviewed article in Autumn this year. Stay connected to know more about it.