The first 24 h after the birth of piglets is a crucial period in pig production as they are born with low body energy stores and, without immunoglobulins. Colostrum intake within few hours after birth helps the piglets to build their immunity for lifetime performance. Thus, the intention of this study was to evaluate the effect of artificial colostrum supplement on the growth performance and blood profile of piglets. A d 115 of lactation, 15 multiparous sows (n = 5/treatment) with their 195 offspring were blocked according to parity. Sows were offered a lactation diet, while litters were allocated into 1 of 3 dietary treatments: CON- only sow colostrum, (SC- intake depends on ADG × 3), TRT1-SC+ 160 mL artificial colostrum (AC) (one time/day), and TRT2-SC+ 180 mL AC (2 times/day). Artificial colostrum powder was commercially purchased from Deahan Co. Ltd. (South Korea), mixed with hot water, and offered to piglets from the day of parturition and continued until weaning (21 d), while sows were offered a lactation diet. AC powder contains 53.25% of protein, 1.65% of fat, 3.30% of moisture, and 12.60% of immunoglobulin (IgG). The bodyweight (individual) of the piglets was measured at the initial, wk 1, weaning, and the end of the experiment to calculate ADG. Blood samples were collected from 12 piglets/treatment at the initial, wk 1, weaning, and the end of the experiment. Experimental data were analyzed (complete randomized design) using the GLM procedure of SAS. Piglets that received both sow colostrum and AC showed higher (P < 0.05) body weight and average daily gain, also increased (P < 0.05) lymphocyte population and immunoglobulin (IgG) concentration compared with piglets that received only sow colostrum. Although piglets fed sow colostrum were protected, fine, and grew well, providing AC had more significant benefits. We recommend that provision of AC twice a day along with SC could be more beneficial to enhance piglet immunity.
Key Words: colostrum, growth performance, immunoglobulin, piglet.
Presented at the 9th Symposium on Gut Health in Production of Food Animals, St. Louis, USA, 2021. For information on the next edition, click here.