Interpretive Summary: Effects of early intermittent maternal separation on behavior, physiological, and growth performance in piglets
By: Zheng Cheng, Si-Tong Zhou, Xiao-Hong Zhang, Qin Fu, Yue Yang, Wen-Bo Ji, Hong-Gui Liu
Although management methods, such as split-suckling and foster care, in pig production can improve piglet survival rates, these methods inevitably lead to neonatal maternal separation which is an early stress on the body, and can have serious negative effects on the body. In this experiment, we investigated the effect level of neonatal maternal separation on behavior, physiology, and growth performance of piglets. The study found that early intermittent maternal separation leads to anxiety and behavioral changes in piglets, negatively affecting diarrhea rates and weaning weights in suckling piglets, but the effects on growth performance in lactating piglets can be ameliorated during the nursing period.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.