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J Anim Sci. 2012 Dec;90 Suppl 4:299-301. doi: 10.2527/jas.51544.

Evaluation of immunoglobulin G absorption from colostrum supplements gavaged to newborn piglets.

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APC, Inc., Ankeny, IA 50021, USA.


Absorption of energy and IgG at birth from colostrum may improve survival and immune competency of newborn piglets. Adequate intake of colostrum may be difficult for piglets due to low birth weight, birth order, or viability. This study was designed to evaluate orally fed colostrum supplements with different energy sources and IgG from porcine plasma on piglet serum IgG content and absorption of IgG compared to pooled sow colostrum. Ninety-six newborn piglets from 12 sows with an average birth weight of 1,288 g were used. Eight piglets were removed from each sow immediately at birth, prior to suckling, and randomly allotted to receive either pooled sow colostrum or 1 of 3 colostrum supplements (A, B, and C) fed at 2 dosing schemes. Piglets received their allotted treatment as either one 30-mL dose at 0 h or three 10-mL doses at 0, 2, and 4 h. Piglets received ad libitum access to water at 2-h intervals after receiving their last treatment dose. Twelve hours after the first dose, piglets were weighed and 4 mL of blood was collected. Plasma IgG content, apparent efficiency of absorption, hematocrit, protein, and glucose were determined. Birth weight and final BW did not differ between treatments; however, pigs fed sow colostrum lost more weight (-72 g) than pigs fed colostrum supplements (-40 g; P < 0.001). Differences in hematocrit or serum glucose were not detected. Serum protein was higher (P < 0.05) in piglets fed colostrum supplements than in pigs fed sow colostrum. Serum IgG content did not differ among treatments. Apparent efficiency of IgG absorption was greatest for sow colostrum followed by colostrum supplements B, A, and C (28.5, 27.6, 25.5, and 24.7%, respectively). The single and multiple dose regimes delivered comparable serum IgG whereas the single dose yielded better piglet hydration as noted by less weight loss. In conclusion, all colostrum supplements were comparable in delivering absorbable IgG to the neonatal piglet.

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