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Feed restriction applied after weaning has different effects on pig performance and health depending on the sanitary conditions

Abstract : Feed restriction may be a strategy used by farmers to limit digestive disorders after weaning. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of feed restriction applied 1 wk after weaning on growth performance and health of pigs reared in 2 different sanitary conditions (Good vs. Poor; managed in opposite ways with respect to cleaning, animal density, and preventive antibiotic use) and confronted with stressful common farming practices (i.e., diet transition and building transfer). At weaning at 4 wk of age, 48 pigs were assigned to 1 of the 4 experimental treatments consisting of 2 sanitary conditions and 2 feeding levels (ad libitum vs. restricted). At 2 d after weaning, restricted pigs received 20% of the feed quantity consumed by ad libitum pigs. The feeding level of the restricted pigs was gradually increased to attain ad libitum feeding on d 8. Imposed stressful conditions occurred at d 12 (the weaner diet replaced the starter diet), d 33 (transfer of pigs from the weaner unit to the grower unit), and d 47 (the grower diet replaced the weaner diet). This allowed 4 distinguishing phases: I, from 0 to 11 d; II, from 12 to 32 d; III, from 33 to 46 d; and IV, from 47 to 60 d after weaning. Poor sanitary conditions resulted in decreased growth performance during phase I (P < 0.001) and III (P < 0.01), and the final BW of pigs kept in Poor sanitary conditions was 4 kg less (P = 0.02) than those kept in Good sanitary conditions. Plasma haptoglobin concentration was increased on d 12 after weaning (P = 0.001) as was the occurrence of soft feces during phases II and III (P ≤ 0.05) in Poor sanitary conditions. In both sanitary conditions, the restricted feeding level resulted in decreased ADG (P < 0.001), increased plasma haptoglobin and salivary cortisol concentrations, and feeding-associated behaviors (P < 0.05) during phase I. In Poor sanitary conditions, feed restriction was very detrimental and differences in ADFI and ADG between restricted and ad libitum pigs increased with time (P = 0.05). Conversely, in Good sanitary conditions, restricted pigs attained the BW of ad libitum pigs before the end of the experiment. In conclusion, imposing feed restriction on pigs during the first days after weaning does not seem to be an effective strategy to decrease the negative effects of Poor sanitary conditions; rather, it reinforces these effects.
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Contributor : Céline Martel <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 5:48:04 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 22, 2021 - 9:16:10 AM

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H. Pastorelli, N. Le Floc'H, Elodie Merlot, Mc. Meunier-Salaun, Jaap van Milgen, et al.. Feed restriction applied after weaning has different effects on pig performance and health depending on the sanitary conditions. Journal of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science, 2012, 90 (13), pp.4866-4875. ⟨10.2527/jas.2012-5309⟩. ⟨hal-00841108⟩



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