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Feeding silage to organic weaning piglets: diarrhoea, gastric health and growth (OK-Net EcoFeed practice abstract)

{Tool} Feeding silage to organic weaning piglets: diarrhoea, gastric health and growth (OK-Net EcoFeed practice abstract). Creator(s): Presto Åkerfeldt, Magdalena. Issuing Organisation(s): SLU - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Hushållningssällskapet. OK-Net EcoFeed practice abstract. (2021)

[thumbnail of Feeding silage to organic weaning piglets: diar-rhoea, gastric health and growth] PDF - English (Feeding silage to organic weaning piglets: diar-rhoea, gastric health and growth)


Chicory forage (see figure 1) has a high content of uronic acids, which forms pectin. Plant-origin pectin can be used as a soluble fibre feed ingredient and can increase colon microbiota diversity and Lactobacillus amylovorus population. Thus, silage with chicory can have beneficial effects on gut health. Moreover, silage increases sa-tiety and the possibilities for the pigs to perform foraging and rooting behaviour. Thus, it can reduce the level of stress and occurrence of diarrhoea and thereby promote pig health and growth.
• Pigs with chicory silage (see figure 2) gained most weight during the 14-day test period (on average 1.15 kg) compared with pigs that received grass/clover silage (on average 0 kg) or no silage (on average 0.37 kg).
• Even though there were some health problems caused by a Lawsonia infection and weaning diarrhoea, the pigs fed chicory silage recovered fast (compared with pigs that received grass/clover silage or no silage).
• The results from the test indicate that silage with a high inclusion of chicory can have a boosting effect on the pigs’ gastric health and is positive for piglet growth around weaning.
• Silage can help to improve pig health through behavioural enrichment and lower stress around weaning.
• Use an early harvested ley crop chicory silage that is tender, with a low proportion of fibres. The silage should have good hygienic quality and be served fresh (i.e. new silage rations every day). Feed the silage at sufficient feeding space, or at several places in the pen, to allow all pigs to feed at the same time.
• Establishing chicory in the crop rotation, after the pigs have been grazing the fields, can enhance nitrogen uptake from the soil.
• For high palatability, the chicory could be combined with e.g. white clover when seeded.
• More obvious positive effects of chicory silage may be achieved by feeding the silage for a longer period.

EPrint Type:Practice tool
What problem does the tool address?:Diarrhoea around weaning is common in organic piglet production, even with an extended lactation period and access to grass/clover silage. It results in not only poor growth and production but also impaired animal health and welfare.
What solution does the tool offer?:Silage with a high inclusion of chicory (Cichorium intybus) was fed to piglets before and after weaning. The inno-vation practice aimed to evaluate the potential to include chicory silage in diets (without dietary zinc oxide) and its effect on pig health and growth.
Type of Practice Tool:Practice abstracts
Keywords:animal husbandry, piglets, weaning, weaners, feeding, silage
Agrovoc keywords:
animal husbandry
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > OK-Net EcoFeed
European Union > Horizon 2020 > OK-Net EcoFeed > OK-Net Ecofeed Tools
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) > Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773911
Related Links:https://organic-farmknowledge.org/tool/39515, https://www.slu.se/, https://hushallningssallskapet.se, https://www.facebook.com/organicfarmknowledge/posts/219581249954517, https://twitter.com/farm_knowledge/status/1374630537336344576
Project ID:ofk
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:39515
Deposited On:12 Mar 2021 12:21
Last Modified:16 Feb 2022 12:30
Document Language:English

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