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Effect of Nursing Frequency and Creep Feed Provision on the Milk and Feed Intake and Performance of Zero Day Weaned Piglets Reared on a Dummy Sow
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 Title & Authors
Effect of Nursing Frequency and Creep Feed Provision on the Milk and Feed Intake and Performance of Zero Day Weaned Piglets Reared on a Dummy Sow
Weng, R.C.; Edwards, S.A.; Hsia, L.C.;
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One hundred and forty-four piglets with an average birth weight of 1,67213.4 g were used to evaluate different feeding strategies for piglets reared from birth on a dummy sow. A 32 factorial experiment compared three nursing frequencies (1, 3 or 6 h intervals) and two feeding regimes (milk only, or milk combined with access to creep feed and water). The piglets which were nursed at one hour intervals had the lightest body weights at all days, and the poorest combined milk and creep feed dry matter conversion efficiency to piglet body weight gain in the second week. Piglets which were nursed at 3 h intervals had the heaviest body weight at day 15 and 22, but those nursed at 6 h intervals achieved similar body weight by days 29 (milk withdrawal) and 36. Piglets offered creep feed were observed to wean themselves before cessation of milk availability, and the timing of this self-weaning depended on the nursing frequency. The piglets nursed at one hour intervals weaned themselves between day 22 and day 29, those nursed at 3 h intervals weaned themselves between day 15 and day 22, whilst those nursed at 6 h intervals weaned themselves between day 8 and day 15. The piglets which were nursed at 6 h intervals had the highest total dry matter intake in weeks 3 and 4 when fed with milk, creep feed and water but not when fed milk only. They consequently had the poorest dry matter conversion efficiency in the fourth week and overall when fed with milk, creep feed and water, but not when fed milk only. It is concluded that the optimal management routine under these conditions is a 3 h nursing cycle with provision of supplementary creep feed and water.
Zero Day Weaning;Piglet;Nursing Frequency;Creep Feed;
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