Feed Strategy - February 2018 - 26
iarrhea is the most common cause of morbidity
and mortality in recently
weaned piglets. The origins of
diarrhea can be pathogenic, nutritional and even compounded
through secondary complications.
Pathogenic diarrheas require veterinary intervention to cure symptoms and eliminate the offending
microorganisms. Nutritional diarrheas usually follow or proceed
pathogenic ones, and thus, a combination of nutritional and medical
interventions is often required.
Obviously, a properly designed nutritional program by a qualified nutritionist should be able to prevent
common nutritional diarrheas.
Nutritional diarrhea originates
from three main faults in the design of a feeding program:
■ First, diets that fail to initiate
vigorous feed intake immediately post-weaning cause hunger,
followed by overeating when
pigs associate dry feed with
nourishment. Even short-term
starvation is capable of diminishing the digestive and immune
capabilities of the gastrointestinal system. Thus, when pigs
overeat after a period of malnutrition or starvation, digestion is
incomplete, resulting in excess
amounts of substrate (energy
and protein) available for proliferation of opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms (e.g.,
Escherichia coli or Salmonella).
■ Second, diets of relatively low
quality, which are often used
to reduce feed cost, not only
discourage the development of
an early appetite, but also their
intrinsic low digestibility results in even more undigested
material becoming available
for bacterial proliferation in
the lower gastrointestinal tract.
■ Third, certain ingredients (e.g.,
soybean meal) contain antinutritional factors (e.g., storage
proteins glycin and beta-conglywww.WATTAgNet.com ❙ February 2018
26 ❙ FeedStrategy