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Plant extracts and good management to fight post-weaning diarrhea

Plant extracts and good management to fight post-weaning diarrhea

Weaning is a critical moment in piglet’s life: the nutritional demands are very high but, at the same time, digestive capacity is reduced and the animal goes through a period of high stress. In this situation, animals are prone to gastrointestinal disorders which share diarrhea as a common sign.

Stressing factors are the separation from the sow and the coexistence with new pen mates in a new environment, the introduction of a different feed which also means the loss of passive immunity that was provided through sow’s milk. Stress causes a release of cortisol in blood, which depresses the immune response against infections.

Digestive capacity is reduced due to three main factors:

  1. Enzyme secretion is not enough
    Physiological production of digestive enzymes is not ready for the new feed stage. Secretion of protease is not enough for protein digestion, especially for plant-derived proteins. Amylase and lipase production is also quite low, thus weaned piglets need to be feed highly digestible carbohydrates and fats.
    Undigested feed in intestine is a potential substrate for pathogenic bacteria.
  2. Composition of intestinal flora is not stable
    The small intestine of a sucking pig is colonized mainly by lactic acid bacteria, while large intestine is dominated by anaerobic Gram-positives. After weaning, a larger proportion of coliforms can be found in small intestine and anaerobic Gram-negatives are the prevalent species in large intestine.
    Intestinal flora composition takes 7 to 20 days to be stable after weaning and, during such period of instability, feed use is reduced, immune system is weaker and it is easier for pathogenic microorganisms to colonize the digestive system.
  3. Villi are atrophied
    The change in feed composition causes a reduction in the morphological and functional capacity of the structures that are related to nutrient absorption (villi of the small intestine). Atrophy of villi leads to a lower capacity to absorb nutrients, water and electrolytes. Thus, the loss of water and electrolytes is magnified when there is an infection in small intestine, contributing to a worsening of diarrhea.

 

The natural strategy

It is possible to prevent post-weaning diarrhea with the use of plant extracts through feed and drinking water.

Plants rich in prebiotics promote the growth of lactic acid bacteria, helping to a faster stabilization of small intestine flora after weaning. When lactic acid bacteria are using prebiotics as a substrate, they produce short-chain fatty acids, which act as immune boosters, inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and improve nutrient absorption and feed use. Some prebiotics also enhance the healthy development of villi, thus they prevent the atrophy caused by feed changes.

Other plants also contain active ingredients that have been proven to enhance villi development. This is the case of phenylpropanoids, found in cinnamon. Cinnamon is a very interesting weapon against post-weaning diarrhea, as its phenylpropanoids have strong activity against enterotoxigenic E.coli, which is a leading cause of disease in this stage.

Garlic and other species possess antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antihelmintic activity, thus they are fighting the causative agent. Some species are immune boosters, reinforcing the immune system in a key moment.

PigletPlus® is a smart combination of synergetic plant extracts that has been used successfully to prevent and ameliorate the signs of post-weaning diarrhea.

SupraPlus® is a liquid cocktail for weaned 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 and other adverse circumstances.

Management is key

  1. Stimulate feed intake and feed use
    • Hand feed on the floor several times a day in the beginning. Provide clean fresh feed each time.
    • Younger piglets eat wet feed more easily.
    • Stir the piglets up 5-6 times a day, to stimulate eating.
    • Provide highly digestible and palatable feed.
    • Easy access to feeders and drinkers.
  2. Reduce stress
    • Split-weaning (weaning earlier of the heavier piglets) may help the smaller piglets.
    • Try to keep less than 20 pigs/pen.
    • Pay special attention to temperature, and measure it at piglet’s level. Cold environment may lead to disease. Temperature should be 32ºC at weaning, and 28ºC a week after.
    • Avoid cold air-flows with a good pen design.
  3. Hygiene
    • All-in, all-out systems.
    • Pens easy to clean and disinfect.
    • Proper cleaning and disinfection before arrival of the piglets.
    • In the pen, encourage wet areas (drinking, dirty areas) and dry areas (clean, sleeping areas).

To sum up

PigletPlus® is the natural product of choice to avoid gastrointestinal disorders after weaning and all the economic losses related to mortality, stunted growth and prolonged time for reaching slaughter weight.

SupraPlus® is a liquid cocktail for weaned 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 and other adverse circumstances.

Its result is optimum if management practices are directed to promote feed intake, reduce stress and maximize hygiene and biosafety.

More information on this product here…

Certain health statements may not be applicable in your geographical region. Product claims may differ based upon your government requirements.

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Posted in: PigletPlus, Products, Swine

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