News last update:6 Aug 2012

Improving feed intake in weaned piglets

Weaned piglets often have a poor feed intake, which compromises health, welfare and performance. Researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre in The Netherlands think that these 'problem piglets' can grow better when they use the experiences from their mother.

Weaned piglets often struggle with the change from drinking milk to eating solid feed. Many studies in the past tried to reduce this problem with changing the formulation of the solid feed, with different results.

The new project from Wageningen will look at this issue from another angle. The focus will be how piglets learn from their mother when they eat together and how information from sow to piglets is carried over, and how this may effect the piglet's feeding behaviour.

The researchers will for example look whether piglets eat more from a feed that has a taste or smell that they have been exposed to before (e.g. taste or smell from milk or womb). The team hopes that the results from this 4 year study will help to reduce the problems around weaning by using new or different feeding measures.

Related website:
Wageningen UR

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