Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Cow`s milk, whey and a high fibre diet for weaned piglets

The effects of supplementing the diet with either milk or whey during the first few days after weaning at four to six weeks of age on disease incidence and growth performance was studied in herd with a high incidence of coliform diarrhoea and enterotoxaemia. In the first trial the 90 piglets of the two experimental groups received either a total of 5 l of cow’s milk or whey during the first 6 days after weaning in addition to a pelleted weaner diet, whereas the 45 control animals received the pelleted diet only. The 140 piglets of the second 2-factorial trial received either a standard weaning diet with 3.7 % crude fibre or a diet containing 6.1 % crude fibre and 1.3 % calcium formate either with or without 3.5 l of cow’s milk during the first 4 days after weaning. Sick piglets were treated individually with an antibiotic. 5 of the 160 piglets (3 %) which had received milk or whey and 13 of the 115 piglets (11 %) which had received only solid feed died of coliform diarrhoea or enterotoxaemia (P <0.01). In the second trial 1 of the 70 piglets (1.4 %) which received the high fibre diet and 10 of the 70 piglets (14 %) which received the standard diet died of coliform disease (P < 0.01). Neither the milk or whey supplement nor the type of solid feed used in the second trial had any effect on growth over the 5 week rearing period.

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