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Feeding Strategy for Weanlings Using a High-Availability Source of Micro-Minerals

In pig production, weaning is a critical period when piglets face a series of environmental stresses. These include a change in diet from milk to solid feed. This change causes a significant drop in piglet growth and digestive disorders, including diarrhoea. 

To prevent these disorders, various strategies have been developed, including the use of antibiotics and high doses of zinc/copper in the feed. These strategies, although effective, have led to the development of resistant bacteria and to the release of these compounds into the environment. In order to develop a feed for piglets that meets their micro-mineral requirements while limiting the release of these elements, it has become clear that the use of a more bio-available micro-mineral supplement is necessary.

The aim of the project is therefore to develop a piglet feed that meets the zinc and copper needs of piglets, in order to ensure their growth and digestive health. This feed should also maximize the use of zinc and copper in order to reduce their release into manure. Chelated or encapsulated micro-minerals have been proposed as a source of highly bio-available micro-minerals, but have shown no advantage over inorganic forms of micro-minerals. A feed for piglets will therefore be developed based on new inorganic sources of zinc and copper recognized for their greater stability and solubility in the intestinal contents, and for their optimal interaction with the intestinal mucosa. These characteristics will optimize the absorption of micro-minerals while maximizing the performance and health of the animals. Animal health is ensured by adequate control of the intestinal microbiota and proper development of the intestinal mucosa.

This project will study three main aspects: a) piglet growth, b) markers of gut health, and c) piglet faecal microbiota.

Frédéric Guay

Université Laval

CRIBIQ's contribution

$ 0


Industrial participants :


*Quebec public research institutes :

Université Laval