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Sustainable Systems for Weaner Management, Package 2, Nutritional management towards sustainable production - LK0652

The aim is to develop sustainable systems for the management of the weaner pig, maximising use of home-grown cereals and oilseeds, in the absence of any input from antimicrobial or growth promoting agents. This aim will be achieved by imposing nutritional manipulations on the pig pre- and post-weaning, which will exploit the potential of dietary components to enhance the development of the gastrointestinal tract, improve food intake post-weaning, affect resident microbial populations and thus enhance gut health. These nutritional manipulations will be applied to young pigs maintained under different management systems, where either the weaning age and/or the lactation environment of the pigs (outdoors vs indoors) vary. By doing so we should be able to develop tailor-made nutritional treatments, appropriate for the different management systems. The nutritional treatments will be initially developed in small scale, focused experiments with either individually or group housed pigs for up to 6 weeks after weaning. The most promising treatments on, amongst other things, nutritional budgets, will be measured until pigs reach slaughter weight. Lastly, some of the treatments will be tested in the large scale facilities of our industrial collaborators, to confirm their applicability on conditions prevailing in the British pig industry.
Objective 1. To develop strategies for creep feed provision which promote gut development and set up a gut microflora better able to resist colonisation by pathogenic bacteria during the weaning transition.
Objective 2. To evaluate the consequences of differences in both source and processing conditions of raw materials on in vitro hydration, viscosity and susceptibility to enzyme attack.
[Objective 3. To quantify the consequences of differences in both source and processing conditions on nutritional value of starches, protein and NSPs contained within raw materials commonly used in weaned pig diets.]
Objective 4. To quantify the consequences of different sources of ‘functional fibre’ on the food intake, performance, gut development and health, and nutrient partitioning.
Objective 5. To quantify the consequences of protein nutrition post-weaning on the food intake, performance, gut developments and health, and nutrient partitioning.
Objective 6. To investigate the consequences of the acid buffering characteristics of the post-weaning diet on the food intake, performance, gut health and nutrient partitioning.
Objective 7. To investigate the utilisation of rape-seed meal as a home-grown protein source for later weaned pigs.
Objective 8. To investigate the consequences of nutritional treatments post-weaning on the occurrence and pathogenesis of post-weaning colibacillosis.
Objective 9. To investigate the association between lactation environment, weaning age and post-weaning diet on the performance and gut health of pigs until 9 weeks of age.
Objective 10. To translate experimental findings to feeding management treatments applicable in the British Pig Industry.
Objective 11. To provide appropriate samples from the above experiments to be used for the identification of immunological and microbiological criteria for rapid assessment of gut health.
Objective 12. To effectively disseminate the findings and the practical applications (technology transfer) to the industry via the direct involvement of the Levy Board (MLC) and industrial sponsors, appropriate conferences and the farming press.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Sustainable systems for management of the weaner pig through nutrition (NUTWEAN).   (36k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2007

Cost: £644,086
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ABN Ltd, University - Leeds, University - Nottingham, Provimi Holding, University - Scottish Agricultural College, Frank Wright Ltd, University - Newcastle, Home Grown Cereals Authority, Meat and Livestock Commission, Primary Diets Ltd
Livestock Farming              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production