Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 432488
Title Feed intake, rather than digestion is the growth limiting factor in poor performing piglets
Author(s) Paredes Escobar, S.P.; Awati, A.A.; Jansman, A.J.M.; Hees, H.M.J. van; Verstegen, M.W.A.; Gerrits, W.J.J.
Source In: Digestive Physiology of Pigs, book of abstracts, Keystone, CO, USA, May 29 - June 1, 2012. - Keystone, Co, USA : - p. 121 - 121.
Event Keystone, Co, USA : XII International symposium on digestive physiology of pigs, Keystone, CO, USA, May 29 - June 1, 2012, 2012-05-29/2012-06-01
Department(s) Animal Nutrition
Animal Nutrition
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2012
Abstract Variation in body weight gain during the nursery period has a large economic impact in pig production. Understanding the reasons for variation in animal performance and the factors that limit growth could result in management strategies to reduce this variation. To this aim, 2 distinct sub populations (Poor performers, P; High performers, H) of clinically healthy pigs were selected at 3 weeks post weaning (~6 weeks of age) based on an equation including BW at birth, weaning, 3 wk post weaning and sex. At 6 wk of age, P pigs (6.8 kg BW, SE 0.14) and H pigs (12.2 kg BW, SE 0.14), were housed individually in a high hygiene research facility and provided with high quality palatable diet (175 g/kg CP; 10.6 MJ NE; 13.5 g/kg AID Lys) until 10 wk of age. Pigs had ad libitum access to feed and water. Apparent ileal (slaughter) and total tract nutrient digestibility were measured. It was observed that fractional growth rate (i.e., ADG expressed as percentage of mean BW) was lower for H pigs than for P pigs (3.0 vs 3.3%; P <0.01). ADFI was higher for H pigs (275 g/d higher; P <0.001) than for P pigs throughout the 4 wk experimental period, while feed efficiency was not different. At the end of the experimental period, H pigs were heavier compared with P pigs (30 vs. 19 kg BW), had greater body length (73 vs. 62 cm) and head circumference (49 vs. 43 cm), all P <0.05. Apparent ileal digestibility (0.78, 0.80 and 0.81 for DM, GE and N, respectively) and total tract digestibility (0.87, 0.87 and 0.84 for DM, GE and N, respectively) were similar for P and H pigs. In conclusion, when compared with high performers, piglets identified as poor performers continued their poor performance during individual housing and optimized rearing conditions until 10 wk of age. The substantial difference in BW at 10 wk was related to differences in feed intake rather than to digestive utilization or feed conversion efficiency. We can deduct from these observations that the determinants for body weight at the end of the nursery period are already set during the first weeks of life.
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