Improving weight gain for transitioning pigs

Weaning is a highly stressful period for pigs. Adjusting from multiple nursing sessions with the sow to consuming dry food can be difficult and often leads to decreased post-weaning weights.

December 1, 2016

2 Min Read
Improving weight gain for transitioning pigs
<p>Research done by Tonisity shows pigs fed gruel made with Px during the weaning period resulted in positive weight gain with the greatest significance at peri-weaning (Day 25-32, +0.370 pounds over control) and at 94 days (+4.78 pounds over control).</p>

It’s common knowledge that a piglet experiences significant physiological, environmental and social challenges at weaning that can predispose the pig to subsequent diseases and other production losses. A 2013 study focused on the biological stress of weaning states “when the piglet is weaned, it must adapt abruptly from highly digestible and palatable liquid milk from its mother that is equally spaced throughout the day to a solid dry diet that is less digestible and palatable. As a consequence, feed intake is usually reduced initially after weaning and the piglet becomes malnourished with reduced transient growth rate.”1

In response to weaning issues, Tonisity has conducted more than 27 trials involving more than 760 litters and 9,600 pigs on production farms in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain. Key findings from those trials have shown that Px helps to reduce the stress of weaning and bolsters weight gain.

Effect of Px in gruel at weaning

Objective: Determine the effect of different feeding methods (gruel made with Px and water and gruel made with plain water) on the weight of pigs during the peri- and post-weaning periods.

Method: Twelve sows and their litters were randomized to one of two groups — Px and control. On Day 2 through Day 8 of life, the Px group was given 500mL of Px and water in an open pan; the control group received no extra supplementation. All pigs had access to fresh water through a drinker nipple.

On Days 25 and 26, Px litters were again given 500 mL Px solution in an open pan. On Day 27, Px litters were given a gruel consisting of Px mixed with creep feed in the ration of 1.5L Px to 1 kg dry feed. Control litters received gruel made with plain water in the same proportion. On Day 28, all piglets were transferred to weaning pens where the gruel and Px and gruel and water feeding continued until Day 32; dry feed was available to both groups ad lib.

Sow and piglet ID, treatment group and gender were recorded; pigs were individually weighed on Days 2, 8, 25, 32, 63 and 94.*

Trial conclusions: Pigs that were weaned on the Px-gruel combination gained an extra 370 grams during the first week of weaning and tended to be heavier at Day 32 than the control group. Differences seen at Day 63 were then markedly significant by Day 94 when the Px pigs weighed 4.78 kg more than control.

*Weight gain and average daily gain was calculated for each time interval and analyzed with R software. Averages were calculated as least square means and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from these. P values <0.05 were considered statistically significant.

1Campbell, JM, Crenshaw, JD and Polo, J. J Anim Sci Biotechnol, v4(1); 2013

For more information about this study or to request a sample of Tonisity Px, visit or call 800-877-9917.

Tonisity and Tonisity Px are trademarks of Tonisity International Limited.
©2016 Tonisity International Limited.

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