To continue our previous post on 2019 Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference Notes...
Here comes Part Two~ 📃
1) Dr. Ryan Dilger (Unviersity of Illinois)
Longitudinal Effects of early-life iron status on the microbiota-gut-brain axis
This was a really interesting talk, Dr. Dilger discussed how early-life nutrition can have long-lasting and irreversible effect.
When pigs experience early-life Fe-deficiency (2.7 mg Fe/L milk replacer vs. 21.3 mg/L in control, fed for post-natal 2-32 days) and then be provided a Fe-adequate diet afterwards (post-natal 32-62 days), their hematocrit and gut microbiota was able to recover, however, impaired growth performance did not recover with Fe-adequate diet, and also, decrease in brain iron concentration, changes in brain volume and microstructure (such as hippocampus, thalamus, white matter volumes and fractional anisotropy values) and behavioral changes remained hurt. Piglets who experience Fe-deficiency even had reduced sleep time!
So...providing enough Iron in the diet right after birth is extremely important for piglets (and babies too).
2). Dr. Tim Johnson (Purdue)
Dextrin Soluble Fiber Alters the Piglet Microbiome and Gut Health
Dr. Johnson discussed a recent study conducted in his lab.
Goal of the study: to see if soluble fiber can influence gut microbiome during pre- and post-weaning period of piglets and therefore help improve health and performance of weaning pigs.
What was done: Piglets were fed with or without dextrin pre-weaning for 14 days (day -14 to day 0) and with or without dextrin post-weaning for 21 days (day 1 to 21).
Dextrin used in the study was dissolved in chocolate milk (wow!) at 1 to 3 g/d depending on age pre-weaning, and then mixed in feed at 1% post-weaning.
What was found: - No statistical effect on performance (although numerically there are difference...)- Microbiota was affected --- pigs fed fiber had more SCFA (short-chain fatty acids) producing bacteria. - As a result, pigs fed post-weaning fiber had higher acetate while pigs fed pre-weaning fiber had higher butyrate concentration in the large intestine
3). Dr. Merlin Lindemann (University of Kentucky)
Assessment of Teleological Changes in Visceral Organs from Birth to 150 kg Body Weight
I guess no further explanation is needed here 😆. Exactly as the title says, Dr. Lindemann's team measured pig organ weights from birth all the way to 150 kg BW in two studies.
Here are some of the interesting results...
Relative organ weights jumped up at weaning, but then gradually decrease as the pig grows.
Similar trend for heart, pancreas, spleen, kidney, stomach, large intestine, and cecum.
Throughout the life, small intestine remains ~80% of the total gut length and large intestine remains at 20%.
Absolute organ volume at different BW - may have important indication for nutrient handling capacity across the growth stages.