BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Fri Feb 25 06:46:36 CET 2011

Pork CRC Media Release -- February 25, 2011


Paying closer attention to nutrition in their pre and post weaning pigs
promises to pay dividends for pork producers thanks to enhanced intestinal
and immune development, survivability and performance.

Supported by Australia's Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), South
Australian Megan Edwards was admitted on February 21 to the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy by the University of New England (UNE), NSW, having completed
her PhD on early nutrition and the weaning transition.

In four experiments under commercial conditions Dr Edwards assessed the
influence of various nutritional strategies, including extrusion as an
alternative milling process, amino acid supplementation, non-nutritional
effects of creep feed and the use of two nutraceutical products, spray-dried
porcine plasma and a yeast derived protein meal.

The nutritional strategies which enhanced survivability and immune
competence in newly weaned pigs included supplemental amino acids at
weaning, offering creep diets containing spray-dried porcine plasma and
pre-weaning exposure to creep feed.

Of the strategies examined, including spray-dried porcine plasma, most
effectively maintained post-weaning feed intake and growth performance in
the acute post-weaning period.

"These benefits were reflected in improved intestinal integrity, pancreatic
digestive enzyme activity and colonic health," Dr Edwards said.

How creep feed exposure influenced growth performance during the suckling
phase depended on a range of inter-dependent factors, including lactation
stage and litter size.

The non-nutritive benefits were complimentary to subsequent survivability of
weaner pigs, with benefits enhanced in progeny of primiparous sows.

Dr Edwards noted that the importance of creep feed composition became more
evident during the acute post-weaning phase.

The results also highlight the nutritive and non-nutritive roles of early
nutrition in piglet development.

Beyond providing nutrients for growth, positive early nutritional
interventions can promote feed intake, improve regulation of the immune
system, rapidly stabilise gastrointestinal mircobiota and limit protein

"Another finding was the benefits of the nutritional strategies tested not
only influenced gastric diseases, but also weaner susceptibility to
respiratory diseases," Dr Edwards said.

Her Pork CRC supported PhD project was co-supervised by Pork CRC CEO, Dr
Roger Campbell, Poultry CRC CEO, Professor Mingan Choct and Dr Lene Lind
Mikkelsen   of UNE.

Dr Campbell said that Dr Edwards' extension of her studies, while addressing
pork producers around Australia during the Pork CRC/APL Roadshows late last
year, was a very important key performance indicator for the Pork CRC's
education program.

"Pork CRC actively supports post-graduate students whose studies add value
to our industry, in particular at the pork producer level and part of that
is ensuring valuable research gets out of the laboratory and, as in this
instance, onto farms," he said.

Dr Edwards now works for ACE Livestock Consulting as a consultant


Authorised by Pork CRC and issued on its behalf by

Brendon Cant & Associates, Tel 08 9384 1122.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr Roger Campbell, Mobile 0407 774 714.


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