A strategy which includes macro-algae for young piglet has promising results for controlling diarrhoea and reduce antibiotics.
The article on PigProgress.net states that all pig producers understand the importance of ‘hitting the ground running’ when it comes to raising pigs, especially those working in the farrowing unit. Day one pig care is a hot topic, and is constantly being adjusted and improved upon. But what about the remaining roughly 20 days in the farrowing unit? With such a naïve immune system, nursing piglets are prone to intestinal disorders that result in diarrhoea.
This can be especially risky at such a young age as it doesn’t take much water loss for them to become dehydrated, quickly leading to decreases in growth. Additionally, with the density of pigs in modern farrowing units, if one litter breaks with an intestinal disorder, the likelihood of the remaining litters breaking is exponentially higher.
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Thus, it is in a producer’s best interest to decrease the incidence of intestinal disorders occurring as much as possible. Understanding this, producers have often turned to using antibiotics to assist with keeping healthy piglets. Unfortunately, with the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance, alternatives must be found. One such alternative is seaweed, or marine macro-algae.
Studies, further explained in the article, show that the use of the seaweed can improve gut health and reduce antibiotics.