Sanitary challenges negatively affect feed intake and growth, leading to a negative impact on animal well-being and economic losses. The aim of this study was to carry out a meta-analysis to quantify the dynamic feed intake and growth responses of growing pigs after a sanitary challenge. A database was constructed using 122 published experiments reporting the average daily feed intake (ADFI) and the average daily gain (ADG) of pigs subjected to one of six sanitary challenges: digestive bacterial infections, poor housing conditions, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenges, mycotoxicoses, parasitic infections and respiratory diseases. The responses to experimental challenges were calculated relative to that of a control group. Statistical analyses were carried out for each challenge to quantify the mean and the dynamic responses in feed intake and growth and to identify the basis of the reduction in growth (i.e. reduction in feed intake or reduction in feed efficiency related to changes in maintenance requirements).
All challenges resulted in a reduction in ADFI and ADG, with the strongest responses for mycotoxicoses, respiratory diseases and digestive bacterial infections (8% to 23% reduction in ADFI and 16% to 29% reduction in ADG). The reduction in ADG was linearly related to the reduction in ADFI for digestive bacterial infections, LPS challenge, parasitic infections and respiratory diseases. For poor housing conditions and mycotoxicoses, the relationship was curvilinear. A 10% reduction in ADFI resulted in a reduction in ADG varying from 10% for mycotoxicoses to 43% for digestive bacterial infections. More than 70% of the reduction in ADG could be explained by the reduction in ADFI for mycotoxicoses, LPS challenge and respiratory diseases. For challenges associated with the gastrointestinal tract, a large part of the reduction in ADG was due to an increase in maintenance requirements, suggesting digestive and metabolic changes. A dynamic pattern in the reduction in feed intake and growth rate could be identified for digestive bacterial infections, mycotoxicoses and respiratory diseases. For digestive bacterial infections and mycotoxicoses, pigs did not fully recover from the challenge during the experimental period.
The results of this study can be used to quantify the effects of a sanitary challenge in growth models of pigs.
H. Pastorelli, J. van Milgen, P. Lovatto and L. Montagne. Meta-analysis of feed intake and growth responses of growing pigs after a sanitary challenge. animal. Vol. 6 (Issue 06) June 2012, pp 952-961. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S175173111100228X