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Effects of soft pellet creep feed on pre-weaning and post-weaning performance and intestinal development in piglets

  • Chen, Hao (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University) ;
  • Wang, Chunwei (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University) ;
  • Wang, You (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University) ;
  • Chen, Yilin (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University) ;
  • Wan, Meng (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University) ;
  • Zhu, Jiadong (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University) ;
  • Zhu, Aixia (Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University)
  • Received : 2020.01.21
  • Accepted : 2020.06.02
  • Published : 2021.04.01

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to determine the effects of soft pellet creep feed (SPCF) on growth performance and intestinal development in piglets. Methods: A total of 18 sows and their litters of crossbred piglets (14±2 days, 3.73±0.72 kg) were assigned to one of three dietary groups receiving i) powder creep feed (PCF), ii) hard pellet creep feed (HPCF) or iii) SPCF during the pre-weaning period. After weaning, piglets were selected for continuous evaluation of the three diets on growth performance and intestinal health. Results: In the pre-weaning period, the average daily feed intake and average daily dry matter intake were significantly higher in the SPCF group than the HPCF group (p<0.05). In the post-weaning and entire experimental period, the different diets had no significant effect on growth performance. At 10 d after weaning, the serum glucose concentration was lower in the SPCF group (p<0.05) than the other groups; a higher (p<0.05) villus height and lower (p<0.05) crypt depth in the jejunum were also observed in the SPCF group than the other groups; Meanwhile, in the duodenum and jejunum, the SPCF group had a higher (p<0.05) villus height to crypt depth ratio than the other groups; Furthermore, the higher (p<0.05) threshold cycle values of lactic acid bacteria and lower (p<0.05) threshold cycle values of Clostridium, Enterobacter and Escherichia coli were also observed in the SPCF group, and the sucrase and maltase activity was higher (p<0.05) in the SPCF group than the other groups in duodenum and ileum. Conclusion: The SPCF improved pre-weaning feed intake and decreased the negative effects of weaning stress in the intestine in piglets.

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