Performance and physiology of pigs administered spray-dried plasma protein during the late suckling period and transported after weaning.
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The objective was to determine the effects of spray-dried plasma protein (SDPP), given as an oral gavage during the last 5 d of suckling, on weight gain and physiology in pigs after weaning and transportation for 5 h. Pigs were assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: 1) SDPP (9.375 g) + transportation, 2) water + transportation, 3) SDPP + no transportation, and 4) water + no transportation (n = 10 barrows and 10 gilts per treatment). Pigs received 25 mL of the SDPP (0.375 g/mL) or water twice daily. There was no effect (P = 0.55) of gavage on weaning BW. On the day of weaning, BW decreased in all groups but the magnitude was greatest in SDPP pigs that were transported (gavage transportation time, P = 0.03). Rectal temperatures increased in all groups but were greater after transportation than after no transportation (gavage transportation time, P < 0.01). Effects of transportation time existed for several blood chemistry measures. Urea and protein concentrations increased (P < 0.01) in transported pigs only. Creatinine, chloride, and albumin increased (P < 0.01) and CO2 decreased (P < 0.01) in both transported and nontransported pigs, but the magnitudes of change were greater after transportation. Concentrations of sodium increased (P < 0.01) only in transported pigs receiving water and not in the other groups (gavage transportation time, P < 0.01). Concentrations of phosphorous (P < 0.01) were affected by sex gavage transportation time and increased (P < 0.01) in transported, water-treated gilts but not barrows. Overall changes in concentrations of urea, creatinine, chloride, CO2, protein, albumin, sodium, and phosphorous are consistent with dehydration in transported pigs in this study and in the case of sodium (both sexes) and phosphorous (gilts only), these minerals were maintained by prior gavage with SDPP. Transported pigs receiving SDPP tended (P = 0.1) to have greater concentrations of glucose than transported pigs receiving water and had similar glucose levels to nontransported pigs receiving water, suggesting that SDPP before weaning and transportation helps to maintain concentrations. Postweaning BW was affected (P = 0.01) by gavage time and at wk 5, pigs gavaged with SDPP tended (P = 0.1) to weigh more than pigs gavaged with water. Providing SDPP before weaning prevented transportation-induced changes in some blood components and enhanced postweaning weight gain.