CategoryAnimal Science - Swine Nutrition
Date Full Report Received05/31/2007
Date Abstract Report Received05/31/2007
Funded ByNational Pork Board
A summary of research conducted to investigate possibilities for reducing the negative impact of discontinuing the use of antibiotic growth promoters has documented that many management tools are available for producers. The most important of these tools are the following: • Increase weaning age to between 21 and 28 days • Use all-in all-out production systems. Wean to off-site facilities if possible • Regardless of the weaning system, provide pigs with a clean, draft-free environment. Provide room temperatures around 28oC during the initial weeks post-weaning. Control of flies and rodents and strict biosecurity is required • Feed diets in a liquid form if possible – preferably as fermented liquid feed. If liquid feed can not be used, then feed diets in a pelleted form after grains have been ground to an average particle size around 600 microns. • Restrict feed intake to approximately 75% of ad libitum intake during the initial 2 weeks post-weaning • Formulate diets based on barley, naked oats, or oats. Avoid corn and soybean meal in the early weaning diets. Use diets that contain less than 18% crude protein during the initial 2 weeks post weaning – sometimes crude protein levels need to be as low as 15%. Use acidifiers, probiotics, and pharmacological levels of zinc and copper in the diets. Using these management strategies, producers will be able to wean pigs without encountering increased problems with intestinal diseases and the use of therapeutic antibiotics will not increase. In many cases, producers will also be able to obtain pig performance at the same level as is obtained in systems that use antibiotic growth promoters. However, due to increased costs of production, profits may be reduced if no antibiotic growth promoters are used.