7 evidences that diarrhea in suckling piglets impacts productivity until slaughter

7 evidences that diarrhea in suckling piglets impacts productivity until slaughter

In the past few years, scour in suckling piglets has emerged as one of the most common problems in pig farms. It occurs mainly before day 5 and between days 7 and 14. It is usually not severe and, if the management of the farm is good, the number of affected piglets will be limited. Yet, sometimes severe outbreaks affect all the animals and mortality can rise to even to 100%.

Diarrhea is responsible for economic losses due to mortality, morbidity, decreased growth rate, cost of medication and man power expenses.

Experience and statistics show that occurrence of scour during lactation period affects not only performance at weaning but also downstream until slaughter, as demonstrated by the data presented below.



  1. Suckling piglets suffering diarrhea for more than 3 days may show 0.5-1.3 kg less at weaning.
  2. If diarrhea is accompanied by hyper secretion, it causes dehydration and piglet may lose up to 40% of its weight.
  3. Statistics show that piglets suffering from diarrhea during lactation show worse daily weight gain during fattening period (aprox. 150 grams/day less than healthy piglets) and that mortality during fattening is 4.5 folds higher.




  1. Piglet weight at weaning has a marked affect on post-weaning growth rate. It is calculated that 0.5 kg weight difference at weaning means 1-1.5 kg difference one month after weaning.
  2. Piglets that achieve a good weight at weaning are less likely to have post-weaning diarrhea and are healthier in the nursery.
  3. If weaning takes place at 21 days (with a target weight at 21 days of 7 kg), piglets weighting 5 kg at weaning will have a body weight 5 kg lower than expected at slaughter, and piglets weighting 6 kg at weaning will have a body weight 3 kg lower than expected at slaughter.
  4. 1 kg less at weaning means 3 days more to reach 110 kg body weight.

To sum up, if one pig does not reach the target weight at weaning, there is no way to compensate this loss during later stages.


PlusVet has designed an integral strategy to help reaching top weaning weights, by combining two products:

  1. ActiPlus® is a liquid cocktail for suckling piglets formulated with premium ingredients (phyto-active ingredients, electrolytes, rapidly absorbed sugars and vitamin E) to ensure that growth performance continues despite the challenges of infections, cold weather and other adverse circumstances.
  2. PigletPlus©: powder product based on plant extracts, organic acids and mycotoxin binders that, added to creep feed, is proven to dramatically reduce the incidence of scour. Its use also cuts down or eliminates the need of antibiotics used for treatment.

The combined use of these two products may result in an improvement of weaning weight of 1.2-1.5 kg (at day 28th), which will benefit the health and performance of animals down to slaughter, as evidenced by the statistics outlined in this article.

Literature and data of the trials available on request.

For more information on this topic and on our products, do not hesitate to contact us through info@plusvet.eu

Picture owned by stuart001uk http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladydragonflyherworld/6790522579/

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