Glucose injections at birth, warmth and placing at a nurse sow improve the growth of IUGR piglets

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Intrauterine growth-restricted piglets (IUGR) have a lower rectal temperature, whole-blood glucose, and lower glycogen storages at birth than normal piglets, giving them less energy to maintain body temperature and compete at the udder. The present paper investigated the effects of giving an energy supplementation three times after birth on rectal temperature, glucose levels, and growth until weaning in an on-farm trial. Eighty-eight newborn piglets were classified as IUGR (based on head morphology), placed under a heating lamp for one hour and allocated to one of four treatments—warmed water (WATER), glucose injection (GLUC), colostrum bolus (COLOS; porcine colostrum), and colostrum bolus and glucose injection (GLUC + COLOS)—before being placed at a nursing sow. Weight differences were found at day 21, with GLUC and GLUC + COLOS groups being the heaviest. Piglets in GLUC + COLOS had higher glucose levels at t = 3, 6, and 9 h compared to the other treatments (p = 0.027), but from t = 24 h and onwards, no difference was observed. For rectal temperature, no differences were observed. Collectively, these findings suggest that glucose injections at birth (i.e., as an energy source), one hour’s exposure to warmth and the placement of piglets with a nurse sow to reduce competition, enhance the growth of IUGR piglets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number519
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Colostrum supplementation, Glucose injection, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, Piglets, Rectal temperature

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