Effect of dietary particle size on gastric ulcers, assessed by endoscopic examination, and relationship between ulcer severity and growth performance of individually fed pigs
Heather L. Ayles, MA; Robert M. Friendship, DVM, MSc; Ronald O. Ball, MSc, PhD
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Purpose: To assess the effects of dietary particle size on the prevalence and severity of gastric ulcers, while monitoring growth performance of individually fed pigs.
Methods: A total of 80 pigs (24.1 +/- 2.9 kg, 53.1 +/- 6.4 lb) were given ad libitum access to a finely ground, corn/wheat diet (578 +/- 1.89 micrometers) for 2 weeks. All pigs were examined endoscopically, and ulcers were scored according to severity from 0-3: 0 = normal, 1 = parakeratosis, 2 = moderate ulceration, and 3 = severe ulceration. Forty-eight pigs were then selected so that each ulcer score could be represented, and the pigs were individually fed the fine diet for another 7 weeks. After 7 weeks of feeding a fine diet, ulcers were reassessed by endoscopic examination and pigs were then allotted to either the fine diet or a coarse diet (937 ? 2.19 micrometers) for another 3 weeks. The pigs were endoscopically examined again to observe the effects of feeding a coarse diet on the severity of ulcers. Growth performance, feed consumption, and feed efficiency were monitored throughout the experiment.
Results: Increasing ulcer severity was associated with a linear decrease in average daily gain (P<.05). Feeding a coarse diet for 3 weeks decreased the severity of ulcers (P<..05).
Implications: A change in ration from one of fine particle size to a coarser diet for at least a short period of time appears to be a practical approach to handling a clinical problem of gastric ulcers when the fineness of the feed is a probable cause.
Keywords: segregated early weaning (SEW), immunologic antigens, growth performance
Cite as: Ayles HL, Friendship RM, Ball RO. Effect of dietary particle size on gastric ulcers, assessed by endoscopic examination, and relationship between ulcer severity and growth performance of individually fed pigs. J Swine Health Prod 1996;4(5):211-216.
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