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Performance and diarrhoea in piglets following weaning at seven weeks of age: Challenge with E. coli O 149 and effect of dietary factors

Sørensen, Martin T.; Vestergaard, Ellen-Margrethe; Jensen, Søren K.; Lauridsen, Charlotte and Højsgaard, Søren (2009) Performance and diarrhoea in piglets following weaning at seven weeks of age: Challenge with E. coli O 149 and effect of dietary factors. Livestock Science, 123, pp. 314-321.

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Four dietary factors (ad libitum versus feed restriction, control versus protein restriction at ad libitum feeding, control versus inclusion of lupine as a protein source at ad libitum feeding, and control versus extra vitamin E at ad libitum feeding) were tested in four separate experiments for the effect on diarrhoea. To introduce a diarrhoea-like condition, half of the piglets were challenged with an inoculation of an E. coli O 149 dose of 1 x 108 colony forming units on day two and three after weaning (day of weaning = day one). All piglets were susceptible since the dams were tested mono-zygotic susceptible to the attachment site of E. coli O 149 in the intestines. Each of the four experiments included 32 piglets from 4 sows. The design was 2 x 2 factorial with dietary factor and E. coli O 149 challenge as the two factors, each at two levels. The piglets were housed individually during the experiment which lasted for 10 days from weaning at 7 weeks of age. The daily recordings included feed intake, weight and faeces score (from 1 = firm and solid to 6 = yellow and watery). Faeces from days 2 to 5 were tested for E. coli strains. In addition, blood was sampled and serum was analysed for E. coli antibodies, IgG and IgM. Generally the E. coli challenge had no effect on growth and feed intake whereas faeces score and number of faeces haemolytic bacteria increased and faeces dry matter decreased. Feed restriction decreased the weight gain while faeces characteristics were unaffected. An analysis including all four experiments revealed that a feed intake of less than 200 g day one after weaning seems to be associated with a relatively high incidence of a post-weaning diarrhoea-like condition. Protein restriction decreased faeces score and increased faeces dry matter while weight gain tended to decrease. Inclusion of lupine affected neither weight gain nor faeces characteristics. Extra vitamin E did not affect weight gain while faeces dry matter decreased, and faeces score and number of faecal haemolytic bacteria increased. The dietary treatments had no effect on the immunological responses. In conclusion, the studied dietary factors could not alleviate a diarrhoea-like condition and at the same time maintain the growth rate. Furthermore, the results indicate that performance can be improved if piglets achieve a daily feed intake of at least 200 g from day one after weaning.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Piglets, weaning, feeding, diarrhoea, E. coli inoculation
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > II. 7 (OrganicPigFeed) Improved pig feed and feeding strategies
Deposited By: Sørensen, Dr. Martin T.
ID Code:10369
Deposited On:12 Jan 2007
Last Modified:29 Apr 2013 18:10
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Submitted to Animal

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