PhD explores impact of supplementary milk on piglet performance

Thursday, 11 May 2023

Successfully rearing additional piglets will improve economic performance, but milk replacer and creep diets are costly. Determining the most efficient strategies for pre-weaning nutrition of piglets is, therefore, key.

Lifetime performance data of pigs with varying levels of supplementary milk and creep consumption may help inform post-weaning management strategies. This forms the basis of an AHDB-funded PhD Sarah Icely is conducting at Harper Adams University.

The latest findings, presented at the British Society of Animal Science conference in March, demonstrated that withdrawing supplementary milk seven days before weaning increased creep consumption, with no adverse impact on mortality or performance.

Results also show that the level of supplementary milk consumption pre-weaning did not affect performance at 15 days post-weaning. However, the average daily gain from weaning to slaughter increased with pre-weaning creep consumption, despite high creep consumers generally being lighter at weaning.

The feed conversion ratio was also better during the first week post-weaning in piglets with high creep consumption, suggesting improved adaptation to weaning.

The final part of the study is being analysed, and we will share the results in due course.

If you have any questions in the meantime, contact Zanita Markham.

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Zanita Markham

Projects & Engagement Relationship Manager

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