Lactose levels for modern antibiotic-free piglet feeds

Lactose levels for modern antibiotic-free piglet feeds

Modern piglet feeds without antibiotics require rethinking in many aspects, including the issue of high lactose levels used previously.

The usefulness of dairy products bearing lactose in piglet diets has been invariably established in well-designed trials at The Ohio State University under the late D.C. Mahon. In those studies, in the early 1990s, it was made clear that young pigs respond to increasing levels of lactose in a linear fashion: the more lactose in their feed, the higher their feed intake. Of course, those diets contained no animal plasma or zinc oxide, but they contained antibiotics. Nevertheless, the basic principle was proved beyond any doubt and it remains only to adjust modern thinking into the framework established then. A review of similar trials conducted from 1993 until present reveals the following general concepts: