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Association between hematological status at weaning and weight gain post-weaning in piglets



Association between hematological status at weaning and weight gain post-weaning in piglets



Livestock Science 182: 64-68



The objective of the study was to determine the associations between hematological parameters at weaning and-post-weaning weight gain in piglets. Five well-managed-conventional herds of average herd size of 1000 sows were selected. All herds provided a single injectable iron (either i.m. or s.c, 200 mg) supplementation from different commerical products at 3-4 days of life. Within each herd, litters belonging to a weekly farrowing batch close to weaning were identified and among them 20 litters were chosen randomly after exclusion of nursing sows. Within each litter, a random piglet was selected. EDTA and non-stabilized blood sample was taken from the anterior Vena cava of each piglet 1-3 days before weaning (average weaning age of 25.7 days) and analyzed by complete hematology including serum iron and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). The associations between each measured hematological parameter and the average daily gain (ADG) of piglets in a three-week period were tested using PROC MIXED procedure in SAS. A total of 99 piglets were included in the study but 3 were lost during follow up. The average hemoglobin concentration of piglets was 121.5 +/- 15 g l(-1) and the ADG was 202.9 +/- 78.4 g day(-1). A positive association between hemoglobin and ADG in the three-week period (p=0.0003) was observed. Also, red blood cells (p <0.0001) and hematocrit (p=0.0005) had positive association with ADG while red blood cell distribution width (p=0.05), hemoglobin distribution width (p =0.04), and reticulocyte red cell distribution width (p =0.01) had a negative association with ADG. Hence the results indicate that improved hematological status at weaning is positively correlated to weight gain post-weaning. An increase in 10 g hemoglobin/l blood corresponded to a weight gain improvement of 17.2 g daily weight gain in the 3 weeks post-weaning period. The strategies for improving the hematological values of piglets at weaning need to be further investigated.

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Accession: 066307589

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DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2015.10.017


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