To be able to produce a sufficient supply of animals, a key stage that producers should turn their attention to is young animals. The early stage of production is likely to be the most affected by stress and diseases as this is when the animals are most vulnerable. High mortality and poor performance at this stage can be attributed to trauma, starvation, scouring and respiratory disease in swine while malabsorption, diarrhea, necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis are the main culprits in poultry. Research has shown that for every 500 sows, there is an additional USD2075 savings per cycle if preweaning mortality was reduced by 10%. These are the reasons why scientists or nutritionists are putting a lot of effort in improving gut health –because the better we can manage health in the young animal stage, the better will be the survivability of the animal to reach harvest weight.
Challenges in Young Animals
Majority of enteric diseases occurs, majority of antibiotics are used
and highest level of mortality occurs at the young animal stage.
Protein Digestibility Challenge
Young animals have immature digestive system, less secretion of
digestive enzymesand lower nutrient digestibility.
Young Animals have lower immunity, majority of vaccines are given
at this stage with potential harmful reactions.