Effects of sweeteners on individual feed intake characteristics and performance in group-housed weanling pigs

A.R. Sterk, P. Schlegel, A.J. Mul, M. Ubbink-Blanksma, E.M.A.M. Bruininx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To assess the effects of 2 high intensity sodium saccharine based sweeteners on individual feed intake characteristics and performance of group-housed weaned pigs, 198 26-d-old weanling pigs were given ad libitum access to 3 dietary treatments: containing no additional sweetener (Control), 150 mg sweetener (C-150; SUCRAM C-150)/kg, or 150 mg sweetener (3D; SUCRAM 3D)/kg. At weaning, piglets were allocated to 18 pens (11 pigs/pen) based on BW, gender, and ancestry, and pens were randomly assigned to 3 treatments with 6 pens per treatment. The pens were equipped with computerized feeding stations. During the first 12 d, pigs were offered pelleted prestarter diets that were replaced at once by pelleted starter diets for the last 7 d of the 19-d experimental period. The individual feed intake characteristics consisting of latency time (interval between weaning and first feed intake), initial feed intake (intake during the first 24 h following the first feed intake), the number of total visits per d, and the number of visits, in which feed was consumed, together with the time and the feed intake per visit were determined for all piglets. Performance traits and fecal consistency were determined per pen for d 0 to 5, d 5 to 12, and d 12 to 19, as well as for the total period (d 0 to 19). The initiation of feed intake was not affected by the addition of high intensity sweeteners to the diet. From 12 d post-weaning, dietary sweeteners caused the piglets to focus more on feed intake and less on exploratory behavior, as shown by the increased percentage of visits with feed intake in pigs fed the 3D diet compared with those fed the Control diet (P = 0.002). The overall daily feed intake increased with time, but was not affected by the addition of sweeteners. Nevertheless, dietary sweeteners prevented the depression of feed intake on d 8 and 10 post-weaning (d 8, P = 0.013; d 10, P = 0.014), which seemed to coincide with an improved fecal consistency score (d 5 to 12, P = 0.11; d 12 to 19, P <0.001). However, the changes in feed intake characteristics and fecal consistency only resulted in numerical effects on post-weaning pig performance (ADFI, P = 0.126; ADG, P = 0.140). The results of the present study indicate that weanling pigs need a certain period of time before clear effects of dietary sweeteners on individual feed intake characteristics and pig performance can be observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2990-2997
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume86
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • diet
  • preference
  • piglets
  • sugar
  • milk
  • cows

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