A trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of different cereals on the performance, gut mucosa, and microbiota of weanling pigs with or without previous access to creep feed during lactation. A total of 108 newly weaned pigs (7.4 kg BW; 26 d of age; half with and half without creep feed) were used. Piglets were distributed by BW into 36 pens according to a 2 × 6 factorial arrangement of treatments with previous access to creep feed (with or without) and cereal source in the experimental diet [barley (Hordeum vulgare), rice (Oryza sativa)-wheat (Triticum aestivum) bran, corn (Zea mays), naked oats (Avena sativa), oats, or rice] as main factors. Pigs were offered the experimental diets for 21 d and performance was monitored. At day 21, 4 piglets from each treatment were killed and sampled for the histological evaluation of jejunal mucosa and the study of ileal and cecal microbiota by RFLP. The Manhattan distances between RFLP profiles were calculated and intragroup similarities (IGS) were estimated for each treatment. An interaction between cereal source and previous creep feeding was observed for ADfi(P < 0.05), indicating that whereas creep feeding increased ADfifor the rice-wheat bran diet it reduced it for naked oats. No differences in mucosal morphology were observed except for deeper crypts in pigs that did not have previous access to creep feed (P < 0.05). Cereal source had a significant effect on IGS of ileal and cecal microbiota (P < 0.01). In the ileum oats and corn had the highest IGS (i.e., lowest heterogeneity of the microbiota) followed by rice, naked oats, barley, and rice-wheat bran whereas in the cecum, IGS was highest for rice and oats followed by corn, barley, rice- wheat bran, and naked oats. An interaction between creep feeding and cereal was also observed for the IGS of the cecal microbiota at day 21 (P < 0.05). Access to creep feed reduced IGS in the piglets fed oats or barley but no differences were observed for the other cereal sources. It is concluded that the effect of creep feeding during lactation on the performance and the microbiota of piglets after weaning is dependent on the nature of the cereal in the postweaning diet. © 2012 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.
|Journal||Journal of Animal Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2012|
- Creep feeding
- Histology of mucosa
- Microbial similarity