How can immunity and gut health in nursery pigs be improved? This was the central question of a Pig Progress webinar held on 20 September. The webinar is now available for re-viewing for free.
The webinar featured 2 expert speakers and was held in cooperation with animal nutrition company Evonik Animal Nutrition. Both speakers presented a recorded video after which they were available for questions.
The webinar was kicked off by speaker Dr John Htoo, global senior swine expert at Evonik, who presented on the strategic use of functional feed additives to enhance immunity and intestinal health of nursery pigs.
He zoomed in on how functional amino acids can help. These regulate key metabolic functions beyond growth to improve health and the immune system, and mentioned threonine, methionine and tryptophan. In addition, he pointed to the use of guanidino acetic acid (a precursor of creatine), which plays a key role in energy metabolism.
He also suggested to use low crude protein diets, which can reduce the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and decrease post-weaning diarrhoea in weaned pigs. In combination with probiotics supplementation, this can enhance gut integrity, immune response and reduce diarrhoea incidence.
Moving to a different aspect of pig production, his colleague Dr Maria Mendoza focused on sow nutrition. She is global consulting expert at Evonik, and summed up various nutritional strategies through which eventually the quality of litters could be improved.
She mentioned the use of precision feeding, e.g. gestation diets adjusted daily for the sows’ estimated standard ileal digestible (SID) lysine:ME needs; pointed to the use of L-Arginine as well as L-Glutamine; diets containing a SID valine:lysine ratio of 93% as well as diets containing the company’s product PhytriCare IM to reduce inflammation.