Characteristically, voluntary food intake in the young pig in the days after weaning is low and very variable. Such low feed intakes can lead to reduced digestive efficiency and ultimately poorer physical performance. This is due to the digestive tract requiring a continuous supply of nutrients to maintain gut integrity and digestive capacity.
The presence of this check in a young pigs growth immediately after weaning is a well documented problem of commercial significance. It is multi faceted and has been found to encompass many issues such as stocking density, mixing of litters, feeder type and space and the formulation and presentation of the feed.
The Braude scholarship enabled me to travel across Europe to visit various research institutes and commercial companies in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland including, ID-Lelystad, Institute for Animal Health, Netherlands, Rosmalen Institute for Pig Research, Netherlands and the experimental farms of the Provimi Group in Veldriel, Netherlands and Central Soya, Chelmno, Poland who were all engaged in trying to find solutions to the postweaning problem. The research they were involved in was as diverse as the problem itself appears to be.