Nutritional Approaches for Improving Neonatal Piglet Performance: Is There a Place for Liquid Diets in Commercial Production? - Review -

  • Odle, J. (Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Harrell, R.J. (Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University)
  • Published : 1998.12.01


This report includes an extensive bibliography of research articles investigating various facets of rearing neonatal piglets using liquid diets, and includes historical publications dating back to the 1940's. However, in order to provide concise and timely focus for application in modem swine production, only a selected number of recent findings are reviewed in detail. Collectively, the data presented illustrate that growth of piglets fed liquid diets can greatly exceed that of littermates fed dry diets and can even exceed growth rates of sow-reared controls (by up to 160%). The central questions that remain unanswered are: 1) Can this improved performance be obtained routinely and economically under applied farm conditions? and if so, 2) Does improved growth during the early-weaning period translate into improved net economic returns overall? Unfortunately, due to the current practical management constraints related to liquid-diet feeding (i.e., lack of an easy-to-manage feed delivery system), limited data are available which examine the efficacy of liquid-diet feeding under practical, commercial farm conditions.


Neonatal Pig;Liquid Diets;Milk Replacer;Early Weaning

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