Date Full Report Received


Date Abstract Report Received



Institution: ,
Primary Investigator:
Co-Investigators: Dr. Donald Lay Ph.D., Brian Richert

As consumer concern for swine welfare, husbandry methods, and antibiotic use in animal agriculture increase, so will the need for U.S. pork producers to demonstrate that current production practices not only increase animal performance, but also improve the overall health and welfare of animals. In modern swine production, newly weaned pigs are often subjected to multiple stressors including weaning stress, transport stress, and thermal stress, and these have the potential to increase the incidence of animal disease, morbidity, and mortality, especially when they occur concomitantly. In order to promote stress recovery, improve animal welfare, and prevent the onset of disease, producers often administer dietary antibiotics for 14 to 42 days after pigs enter wean-to-finish facilities. However, due to increased consumer concern regarding the use of antibiotics in animal production, and legislative action promoting antibiotic free diets, it has become increasingly important to develop antibiotic alternatives that can help pigs recover from stressful events as effectively as dietary antibiotics. It was determined that replacing dietary antibiotics with 0.20% L-glutamine improved the productivity of weaned pigs at a similar level as dietary antibiotics throughout the nursery phase. However, the effects of dietary antibiotics and L-glutamine provided d 0-14 post-weaning on pig productivity were diminished as pigs entered the grow-finish phase. In addition, aggressive behavior tended to be reduced overall in L-glutamine fed pigs compared to antibiotic fed pigs, but no differences were observed between antibiotic and L-glutamine treatments versus non-antibiotic pigs. No carcass characteristics were altered by dietary treatments. Pigs weaned in the spring had greater growth performance compared to pigs weaned in the summer resulting in heavier carcass weights and greater loin depth for spring weaned pigs. In conclusion, 0.20% L-glutamine supplementation improved pig health and productivity after weaning and transport similarly to antibiotics; however, the positive growth effects of dietary antibiotics and L-glutamine provided the first 14 days post-weaning were diminished during the grow-finish phase.