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
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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