The following data is from a trial conducted at
Ten litters (10-11 pigs/litter) were randomly selected in the farrowing unit and all received Gel. Gel feed was weighed (small amounts were added as needed) and offered in round creep feeders or in a mat in each farrowing crate for 3 days prior to weaning. At weaning, 1/3 of each litter received the feeding program described in the table below for Treatment (TRT) 1, and 1/3 received the feeding program described for TRT 2. Only pigs in TRT 2 received Gel in the nursery. The Gel was fed in round pan type creep feeders added to each pen on TRT 2. On day 4, 0.5 pounds of dry feed per pound of Gel was added. On days 5, 6, and 7, 1 pound of dry feed per pound of Gel was added.
During the nursery period, pigs were housed in a conventionally nursery facility in pens with a nipple drinker, four-hole feeder, and plastic flooring. Pigs had ad libitum access to feed and water. The nursery temperature was maintained at 85°F for the first week of the trial and thereafter, decreased 3°F per week. This trial was conducted during the months of May-June.
Gel consumption was 1.7 pounds (as is) per litter per day in the farrowing crate. During d 0 to 3 post-weaning, pigs receiving the Gel pre-weaning and post-weaning demonstrated optimized gain when compared to pigs not receiving the Gel in the nursery. Similarly, optimized gain and body weight were also observed during d 0 to 7 post-weaning for pigs receiving the Gel in the farrowing crate and in the nursery. This trend continued all the way through nursery when they had been fed additional Gel in first few days in the nursery.
Means in the same row not followed by a common letter differ (P < 0.05) using LSD procedure.
Using Gel in the farrowing crate and nursery benefits growing pigs by minimizing post weaning nutrition lag.
Maintaining feed intake during transitioning environments leads to optimal body weight forpigs leaving the nursery. Using Gel (3 days pre-weaning) in the farrowing crate and then also in the nursery, was more beneficial for pigs at 7 days and 39 days post-weaning than just using Gel in the farrowing crates.
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