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Animals 2016, 6(11), 66;

Intermittent Suckling in Combination with an Older Weaning Age Improves Growth, Feed Intake and Aspects of Gastrointestinal Tract Carbohydrate Absorption in Pigs after Weaning

School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
South Australian Research and Development Institute, Roseworthy Campus, JS Davis Building, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia
Aspects of this work have been published as: Turpin, D.; Langendijk, P.; Chen, T-Y.; Pluske, J.R. Intermittent suckling influences the performance of pigs before and after weaning. In Manipulating Pig Production XIV; Pluske, J.R., Pluske, J.M., Eds.; Australasian Pig Science Association: Melbourne, Australia, 2013; p. 126.
Present address: Trouw Nutrition, Veerstraat 38, Boxmeer, 5831 JN, The Netherlands.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 16 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
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This study tested the hypothesis that intermittent suckling (IS) with or without an older weaning age would improve post-weaning gastrointestinal tract (GIT) carbohydrate absorptive capacity in pigs while reducing post-weaning stress and aspects of the inflammatory response. Three weaning regimes using primiparous sows were compared: (1) conventional weaning (CW28) ( n = 22), where piglets were weaned conventionally at day 28; (2) IS28 ( n = 21), where IS started at day 21 until weaning at day 28; and (3) IS35 ( n = 21), where IS started at day 28 until weaning at day 35. Sugar absorption tests (10% mannitol or 10% galactose) were used to measure GIT absorptive capacity. All measured parameters were compared in relation to weaning across treatments (i.e., different physiological ages were compared). The IS35 pigs grew fastest in the 12 days after weaning ( p < 0.01) and had the highest solid feed intake before and after weaning ( p < 0.05). Irrespective of treatment, pre-weaning mannitol levels were higher than post-weaning levels ( p < 0.01), whereas post-weaning galactose levels were highest in IS35 pigs ( p < 0.01). Cytokine data did not show any treatment effects. In conclusion, these data suggest that IS in combination with an older weaning age (day 35) improved post-weaning adaptation as evidenced by improvements in performance measures and galactose absorption. However, IS28 did not improve post-weaning performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: pig pig

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Turpin, D.L.; Langendijk, P.; Chen, T.-Y.; Pluske, J.R. Intermittent Suckling in Combination with an Older Weaning Age Improves Growth, Feed Intake and Aspects of Gastrointestinal Tract Carbohydrate Absorption in Pigs after Weaning. Animals 2016, 6, 66.

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