Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: We evaluated the effect of feeding liquid vs dry diets after weaning on pig performance and intestinal morphology. At 14 d of age 32 pigs (4.67+/.06 kg) were assigned to 1 of 4 treatments in a RCBD: 1) cross-fostered to another sow (SOW); 2) weaned to a dry diet with 7% plasma (SDP); 3)weaned to a dry diet with no SDP; 4) weaned to a liquid milk replacer (MR) diet. The 0 and 7% SDP diets contained 30% lactose and exceeded NRC (1998) recommendations for other nutrients. All pigs were killed after 4 d, and intestinal samples collected at 3 equidistant sites from the proximal jejunum to the distal ileum to measure villus heights, crypt depths and villus:crypt ratio (VCR). The stomach, heart, kidney, and liver were weighed. The final weight of pigs fed milk replacer was similar to the pigs cross-fostered to another sow (6.03 vs 5.83 kg). There was no difference between the pigs fed either 0 or 7% SDP (4.61 vs 4.59 kg), with both groups weighing less than either group on a liquid diet (P<.001). Th villa for pigs fed either liquid diet were taller (P<.001) than pigs fed either dry diet. The crypt depth of the most distal section for the pigs that remained on the sow was reduced compared to all other crypt depth measurements (P<.001). The pigs fed either dry diet had a lower VCR than the pigs on a liquid diet (P<.001), and the most distal section for the pigs that remained on the sow had a higher VCR than all other VCR measurements (P<.01). This study shows that pigs weaned to a liquid milk replacer perform similar to pigs kept on a sow, while pigs weaned to a dry diet have reduced performance. There were also differences in intestinal morphology which may be related to pig performance.