Chris Opschoor is Manager Global Nutrition Services. Global Nutrition Services provides advice to feed producers, advisors, and our customers about the best feeding levels and quality to unlock the maximum potential of Topigs Norsvin genetics.
Weaning generally involves a major dietary change – both feed form and room temperature change for the weaned piglet. When no zinc additives can be used in nursery diets these tips can help you work successfully.
Chris’ tips to keep weaned pigs healthy when feeding no zinc additives:
- Feed the lactating sow appropriately for both colostrum production and maximum milk yield to ensure gut development.
- Stimulate feed intake before weaning to support feed intake after weaning.
- Redesign your nursery feed program. Invest in gut development and gut health instead of the highest feed intake and growth rate directly after weaning.
- Keep mixing of piglets to a minimum to avoid stress and health issues that will lower feed intake and therefore gut development.
- Diet changes should be planned to be appropriate for the stage, growth (target), and appetite of the piglets. Consult your nutritional advisor and feed supplier.
- Water and feed must be available at all times and the supply checked at least daily.
- Consider position, height, different types of drinker, ease of operation, and flow rates. Clean the water line (between batches) and drinkers regularly (daily in the event of fouling)