Post-weaning problems in piglets

Weaning is a stressful period for young piglets: at weaning and during the first 10-14 days post weaning, piglets face major challenges. It’s a race against time: the piglet is separated from its mother, place into a new environment with new pen mates and feed is presented in dry form.

At the same time, its digestive tract and immune system are not sufficiently developed yet to cope with all these changes. This often results in loss of appetite and, consequently, a reduced feed and nutrient intake. In particular, a reduced feed intake - one of the main post-weaning problems in piglets - is seen as a precursor to intestinal imbalances.

Maintaining gut health is the key to success

In the development of the intestinal tract of piglets, a distinction can be made between the phase immediately after birth and after about 3-6 weeks. While in the first phase the intake of colostrum is essential for the protection, growth and maturation of the intestine, the post weaning period is the time when right nutrition needs to support optimal gut development. The aim here must be to ensure high feed intake through tasty and highly digestible feed to meet the piglet's energy needs, support microbiota and ensure the development of normal gut health post weaning.

In a healthy intestine, feed nutrients are efficiently converted into growth. A higher growth performance of the piglets shortens the time to reach the market weight and increases the profitability of the pig production.

In future, common solutions may not work anymore

Probably you know that adding zinc oxide (ZnO) to the diets during the post weaning period is a common practice for controling post weaning challenges and maintaining normal intestine health status.

However, there are questions about ZnO being involved in the development of antibiotic resistance as well as environmental concerns due to high levels of excreted zinc ions. As ZnO will be banned in the EU by 2022, the time is right to focus on alternative nutritional strategies that strengthen the animal’s intestine during the sensitive weaning period with plant-based feed additives.

Challenges & Solutions Swine

You want to find out more about other Challenges & Solutions?

Phytogenic support of weaning piglets:

Fresta® Protect – support your piglets post-weaning

  • Specifically adapted to the piglets' needs during the post-weaning period
  • Enhances palatability and feed intake during the post-weaning
  • Maintains gut health during challenging conditions, thus contributing to overall profitability

With Fresta® Protect, Delacon has developed a phytogenic feed additive specifically adapted to the needs of piglets during the post weaning phase. The tasty formula of essential oils, mucilages and flavonoids supports feed intake and digestibility and helps to maintain a healthy gut during post weaning. Thus, supplementing post-weaning diets with Fresta® Protect contributes to overall profitability in pig production. 

Nature that works – proven scientifically

Studies conducted with Fresta® Protect have shown that a healthy gut can reduce the susceptibility to post weaning diarrhea.

*University trial with Fresta® Protect in piglets post-weaning, Germany, S038b (p<0.001)

Delacon Expert

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Megan Koppen
RTM Poultry, Sales Group North America

Phone: +1 (630) 731-0250

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