Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Piglet Health?

Published on: 12/23/2013
Author/s : Laura Eastwood (M.Sc. Prairie Swine Centre and University of Saskatchewan), Denise Beaulieu (Ph.D. Prairie Swine Centre)

FAST FACTS Background  Weaning is the most stressful time in a piglet’s life  The stress of weaning can cause an immune reaction and a growth lag (slowed growth)  An immune reaction is a good bodily defense mechanism against foreign invaders, but an overly active immune system can be harmful  Many nutritional strategies have attempted to improve piglet welfare at weaning...

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Wm F. Tooley Wm F. Tooley
December 23, 2013

When you say "...less than 5/1..." What do you mean?

Noni Mammatt Noni Mammatt
Pig farmer
December 26, 2013
if creep feed is added to their pen and the sows and piglets are added to a nursery pen, then they (a) get to know their litter mates
(b) they get to know the feed
(c) they are still on mum

On weaning nothing in the way of food should change. Only the place where they will stay until they have forgotten about Mum. Two forms are constant..... their feed and their litter mates

this makes for easy weaning.

On obtaining 20 kg feed is changed but the group are still together.
January 2, 2014

The control diet contained a n6:n3 ratio of about 10:1 but contained less than half of the total PUFA of the other 4 diets. This diet was tallow based and contained no added plant or fish sources.

There were 3 plant based diets which contained n6:n3 ratios of 10:1, 5:1 and 1:1. The plant source of n3 was flax (combinations of ground seed, oil and high fat meal) and the n6 source was corn (ground and oil). The 5:1 fish based diet contained herring oil as the fat source.

In regards to our comment suggesting not to feed a ratio of less than 5:1, we are saying that currently, we do not know at what ratio below this the negative effects begin to be observed. We did not test ratios between 5:1 and 1:1, and thus we recommend not feeding below a 5:1 n6:n3 ratio at this point in time.

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Jon Bergstrom
Jon Bergstrom
Swine Nutrition & Production, Ph.D.
  Plano, Texas, United States
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