The newborn piglet, whose digestive tract is until them sterile, is subjected to the sanitary pressure of its environment. It can then be contaminated with parasites or unwanted bacteria.
Thus, the installation of an optimal digestive flora must be prepared, in particular thanks to the biosecurity and the cleaning of the maternity rooms. Similarly, the feeding of the gestating sow will have a huge impact on the sanitary pressure of young piglet.
With time, the digestive system of the piglet adapts to its environment and its feed: if all the sanitary and nutritional parameters are correctly controlled, the digestive flora is stabilized with the profit as of lactobacillus and other beneficial bacteria during post-weaning.
In porcine production the immune defenses of piglets are weak.
During weaning, separation of the piglet with its mother and mixing with piglets from other litters are factors involving a stress (aggressiveness, excitement, competition at the trough, refusal to consume).
Moreover, the passage from the maternal milk to a solid feed challenges the immune system with a drop of passive immunity to the active immunity in development.
An immune deficiency causes disorders (diarrhea, dehydration, hyperthermia) which induce a higher consumption of energy, with negative consequences on the growth (anorexia, morbidity, heterogeneity of the batch) and on health.
FATTENERS OR REPRODUCERS
The fattening pig has an intensive diet to maximize its growth at the best cost, in the respect of the environment. The feed is, generally formulated on the basis of the average requirements of the batch (depending on the average weight of the group, its genetic type and the distribution system of the farm) and the costs of the cereals. The diet can then be poorly adapted to the individual need and causes an imbalance of the flora, which can cause growth disturbances and heterogeneity in the batch.
In buildings, controlling the atmosphere is essential, in order to limit the risks of respiratory pathologies. Pigs are usually bred in enclosed buildings equipped with ventilation. Dusts and ammonia, which are often present, can cause irritation of the respiratory system, which has a strong impact on profitability.
Many norms of welfare supervise the management of sows. Raised in groups during the majority of their gestation, they are housed in individual pen during their entry in the maternity room. These changes in housing and grouping sometimes involve of bacteria and parasites contamination. These various disturbances can also lead to aggressive behavior between sows or towards the breeder.