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The effect of offering two feeds, with or without pharmacological levels of zinc oxide, on the individual feeding behaviour and performance of weaned piglets

  • F. Reynolds (a1), M. Forbes (a1), R. Slade (a1) and H. Miller (a1)


Zinc oxide (ZnO) is frequently added to nursery piglet diets at pharmacological levels to combat scouring and to improve performance of weaned piglets (Miller and Slade, 2006). It is anecdotally recognized in the pig industry that piglets do not like the taste of zinc although increased feed intake is frequently reported (Ragland et al., 2006). Dietary selection studies have demonstrated the ability of the pig to discriminate between different foods (Forbes and Kyriazakis, 1995). This experiment aimed to test the hypothesis that weaned piglets would avoid a diet high in ZnO when given the choice, and to investigate the resultant performance and choice feeding behaviour of individual piglets in the immediate post weaning period.


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Forbes, J. M. and Kyriazakis, I. Food preferences in farm animals: why don’t they always choose wisely? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 1995; 52: 429–440
Forbes, J. M., 1995. Voluntary Feed Intake and Diet Selection in Farm Animals. CAB International, Oxon, UK.
Miller, H. M. and Slade, R. D. (2006). Organic acids, pig health and performance. The Pig Journal 57: 140–149.
Ragland, D., Schneider, J. R., Amas, S. F., and Hill, M.. 2006. Alternatives to the use of antimicrobial feed additives in nursery diets: A pilot study. Journal of Swine Health and Production. 14(2):82–88.


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