Gel protein supplementation enhanced serum IGF-1 concentration in pre-weaning piglets


  • Morakot Nuntapaitoon
  • Junpen Suwimonteerabutr
  • Nutthee Am-in


Gel protein supplementation, IGF-1, Piglet, Pre-weaning mortality, Weight


The piglet pre-weaning mortality is a major problem in swine production. The objective of the present study was to
determine the effect of dietary gel protein supplementation on pre-weaning mortality and growth in piglets. A total of
48 Landrace x Yorkshire crossbred sows were included in this study. On farrowing day, the sows were randomly
allocated into two experimental groups by parity: Control (n=20) and Treatment (n=28). The piglets in the Control
group sows (n=234) were not orally supplemented and the piglets in the Treatment group sows (n=316) were orally
supplemented with gel protein (Porcistart®, Virbac. Co., Ltd., Loudeac, France). The piglets in the treatment group had
ad libitum access to gel protein in a container placed in the creep area for the piglets. The feeding protocols were carried
out from farrowing day until Day 7 after farrowing. The creep feed was provided from day 7 until weaning. On Day 7
after farrowing, 2 mL blood samples were obtained from 160 piglets (Control, n = 54 and Treatment, n = 106) randomly
selected from sows included in the experiment for IGF-1 analysis. The piglet body weight was recorded at Days 3, 10
and weaning. The litter weight gains were calculated. The piglet pre-weaning mortality was determined at Days 3, 10
of life and at weaning. The lactation length, litter size at Days 3 and 10 and weaning were 25.5 ± 0.9 days, 11.5 ± 1.8
piglets/litter, 10.0 ±1.5 piglets/litter and 9.6 ± 2.1 piglets/litter, respectively. No effect of gel protein supplementation
on piglet weaned weight and piglet pre-weaning mortality was found in the present study (P > 0.05). On average, the
serum IGF-1 concentration was 128.1 ± 54.7 ng/ml (range 22.6-243.5 ng/ml) and piglet weaned weight was 6.7 ± 1.3
kilograms (range 4.4-8.9 kilograms). Serum IGF-1 concentration in the treatment group (140.3 ng/ml) was higher than
in the control group sows (120.2 ng/ml, P = 0.027). In conclusion, dietary gel protein supplementation in the piglets
increased piglet serum IGF-1 but had no effect on weight and pre-weaning mortality in piglets.


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How to Cite

Nuntapaitoon, M. ., Suwimonteerabutr, J. ., & Am-in, N. . (2020). Gel protein supplementation enhanced serum IGF-1 concentration in pre-weaning piglets. The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 50(4), 567–572. Retrieved from



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