Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2020, 68, 699-705
Published online 2020-08-30

Smart Pig Nutrition: Effect of Piglet Weaning Nutrition Strategy on Their Growth Ability, Survival and Economics

Manfred Schönleben1, Joachim Mentschel2, Sebastian Feser3, Luboš Střelec1, Klaus Klunker4

1Department of Statistics and Operation Analysis, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Department of Global Business Development, Sano – The Animal Nutritionists, Grafenwald 1, 84180 Loiching, Germany
3Veterinary Health Department, Sano – The Animal Nutritionists, Grafenwald 1, 84180 Loiching, Germany
4Monogastric Veterinary Health Department, Sano – Moderná výživa zvierat s. r. o., Dlhé diely I 23A, 841 04 Bratislava-Karlova Ves, Slovakia

Received May 16, 2020
Accepted June 17, 2020

Modern high-performance swine genetics, such as Danish hybrid sows, can yield large litter sizes. Especially in the suckling phase, managing these large litters with low piglet losses is often a challenge. To support the modern highly prolific sows and litters, the use of pre-starters as suckling pig supplementary feed, including sufficient freshwater access, are nowadays good professional practices. Neonatal piglets especially profit from liquid supplemental feed via the possible higher absolute dry matter intake potential, in comparison to solid feed or without supplement. Various studies also indicate that supplying additional liquid feed to piglets pre- and post-weaning may yield epigenetic, life-long positive effects in animal key performance indicators. Although the advantages of early liquid piglet nutrition are today widely known, supplying adequate nutrient concentrations, the smooth preparation of the piglet's digestive system towards solid, starchy feed, and consequently enzymatic training to reduce post-weaning stress are still challenges which have to be considered. Due to their higher concentration of solids, piglet starters in porridge form i.a. offer the advantage of higher nutrient densities and aggregation stability. The aim of this study was, therefore, to answer the questions: 1) Can improved litter performance also routinely be obtained by supplying a porridge supplemental diet to neonatal piglets, and 2) Does improved litter performance translate into overall improved net economic returns within a professional piglet production setup of 254 piglets from 21 litters? Results show, applying the preweaning porridge strategy not only yielded around 10% higher daily gains and life weight results than conventional approaches, but also a return of investment of 2 : 1.


The authors thank the Sano Academy, Sano – The Animal Nutritionists, and especially Fam. Martin Baran for their highly appreciated help, logistics, product, and raw material support. We also thank a commercial animal nutrition company for supporting the gel product and two unknown reviewers for their appreciated and constructive feedback.


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