Px is the first isotonic protein drink that contains key ingredients to nourish the intestinal cells, the enterocytes. Enterocytes are the final gateway for the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates into the body. If the enterocytes are working efficiently, then the body is able to absorb more nutrients. Px contains ingredients which support the efficient function of the enterocytes. By supporting the enterocytes, Px helps pigs overcome the key productivity hurdles of neonatal piglets and assists with a smooth transition through weaning.
Various strategies are used to try to overcome these hurdles. Milk replacer, electrolyte solutions and quick-start drenches are all used by producers to give extra energy and fluids to piglets. Antibiotics, probiotics, pre-biotics and plant extracts are all used in an attempt to modify the intestinal bacteria population. However, none of those strategies actually improve the function of the enterocytes, which are the engines that are responsible for absorbing any nutrients. A more focused approach is to nourish the intestinal cells themselves and help them to do the best job they can of absorbing nutrients. This is the approach that Tonisity has taken in the development of Px.
Tonisity has taken great care to investigate how best to use Px and to demonstrate the return on investment to producers. This research has shown that Px has a positive impact and a positive ROI.
To read the full Scientific Summary and Trials download the file below
‘Will the Piglets Drink Px at Such a Young Age?’
The Answer is Most Certainly Yes.
We have measured Px consumption across 4 different trials, using 278 litters and 6,168 piglets. 500 mL of Px was given once daily to litters from Days 2-8. Volume consumed was measured by weighing the amount given and then weighing the amount left in the pan the following morning.
Figure 1 shows the typical consumption pattern. On the first and second day, most litters will consume about 300 mL, though some will consume almost all of the 500 mL. By the 3rd day, most litters are consuming the entire 500 mL.
Why only 500 mL?
We know that piglets will drink more if they are allowed. We actually did study this and found that 500 mL/litter/day, or approximately 40 mL/pig/day can strike the right balance. Current producer feedback suggests that some larger litters might benefit from a slightly higher volume.
‘What Effect will Px have on Productivity?’
We started with farms in the United Kingdom and then subsequently moved to on-farm trials in Spain and the USA. Trials were conducted under real-world farm conditions, with data collection performed by veterinarians and animal health technicians.
There are 2 main parameters to pre-weaning productivity - mortality and weaning weight. Providing early nutritional support to the enterocytes is the key strategy here. We’ve shown significant improvements in both parameters.
Effect of Px on Pre-Weaning Mortality and Post-Weaning Weight (TON-USA-034)
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Px on pre-weaning mortality and post-weaning weight when given to suckling pigs from Days 2-8.
Materials and Methods
The study was conducted independently in a farrow-to-nursery operation with 7,200 sows located in Iowa, USA. The farm has an average liveborn of 12.8 pigs and a historic pre-weaning mortality of 13-14%. The farm was negative for PRRS at the time of the trial.
Seventy-three sows (PIC) and their litters (968 piglets) were enrolled in the study. Sows and their litters were randomized to one of two groups. Litters in the Px group received 500 mL of Px in an open pan, once daily from Days 2-8 of life. Litters in the control group received no extra supplementation. All piglets had access to an automatic drinker. The amount of Px consumed was recorded daily. On Day 2, piglets were individually ear-tagged and weighed. Piglets were again weighed at Day 8, at weaning (~Day 19) and at Day 35. ADG at all time points was calculated based on actual days of age. Mortality and apparent cause of death were recorded daily. Three litters were withdrawn from the trial on Day 2 due to sow or litter health issues.
Dependent variables weight and ADG were analyzed by a generalized linear model with the package GLM2, including group, parity, genetics, the interaction group x parity and the interaction group x genetics as fixed effects. Mortality was analysed with Fisher’s exact test. Results were considered significant at P ≤ 0.05 and considered a trend at P > 0.05 and P ≤ 0.10. Statistical analysis was performed using R software.
1. Pre-Weaning Mortality
The pre-weaning mortality was significantly lower in the Px group (10.3%) compared to the control group (15.0%) (P = 0.029). The odds of survival in the Px group was 1.55 times higher in the Px group. See Table 1.
2. Weight Gain
On Day 2 of age (baseline) there was no significant difference in bodyweight between the groups . At Day 8, the Px group had an average daily gain of 205g [0.454 lb], compared to the control group that had gained an average of 186 g [0.412 lb]. The difference in body weight between groups at Day 8 was statistically significant at P = 0.002. Piglets were between 15-22 days of age when weaning weights were measured, and because of this wide range of ages, no significant differences between groups were seen at weaning. However, by 20 days post-weaning, differences in body weight were significantly different with the Px pigs weighing 9.9 kg [21.8 lb] and control pigs weighing 9.0 kg [19.95 lb] (P = 0.006). These weights corresponded to differences in ADG of 227g [0.5 lb] for the Px pigs and 205g [ 0.45 lb] for the control pigs (P = 0.015).
Conclusion and Relevance
Px supplementation in the first week of life reduced PWM by 33% in this trial. Px pigs weighed an extra 100g [0.3 lb] at Day 8 and an extra 783g [1.7 lb] at Day 40, showing a statistically significant impact upon weight gain.
Subsequent studies have shown a repeatable effect on pre-weaning mortality, which is attributed to better nutritional support of the intestinal enterocytes.
Meta-Analysis of Pre-Weaning Mortality
A meta-analysis of pre-weaning mortality was performed using data from 6 controlled trials that included 543 litters and 6,685 piglets. All studies for which litter mortality data was available were included. Data was analyzed using the litter as the experimental unit.
These studies were conducted in various sites, both in Spain and the USA, over a 12-month period from late 2015 to late 2016. All treatment litters received Px 500 mL/day in an open pan from Days 2-8 of age, while control litters received no supplementation. All piglets were allowed to suckle normally. All litters were weaned at ~ 21 days of age.
Figure 2 is a forest plot that shows the relative risk of pre-weaning mortality in the treated piglets versus the control group with corresponding 95% confidence intervals in the individual studies. The analysis is based on a random-effects model performed with R-package Metafor.§
Relative Effect of Px on Pre-Weaning Mortality
Conclusion and Relevance
Piglets that were given Px from Days 2-8 of age had a statistically significant (P = 0.001) 26% reduction in risk of mortality compared to non-Px pigs (relative risk 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.62-0.87, P = 0.001).
Our studies have also shown that Px has a positive effect on growth of the intestinal villi.
This is important because the size of the villi - and all of the cells that are on the surface of the villi - can have a beneficial impact on the growth of the pig.
We’ve measured the effect of Px on intestinal morphology in 2 different studies.
The first study assessed the effect of Px when given from Days 2-8 of age. Intestinal histopathology samples were taken from representative pigs at 9 and 21 days of age.
Pigs that received Px during the first week of life had significantly taller villi compared to pigs that had no Px. Px pigs also tended to have a thicker mucosal layer. Villus height increased by 8.3% (P < 0.001) and intestinal mucosal thickness increased by 9.0% (P < 0.087) by Day 9 in the Px pigs.
The second study started with giving Px to ½ of the litters from Day 2-8 (with the other litters forming the control group). Next, the pigs were also split into 3 sub-groups for weaning. The 3 sub-groups received either dry creep feed, gruel made with water, or gruel made with Px.
Again, there were statistically significant differences in the Px pigs. Villus height increased by 16.8% (P < 0.003) and intestinal mucosal thickness increased by 10.6% (P < 0.033) in the Px pigs. These differences were irrespective of whether or not the pigs had Px-gruel, water-gruel or dry creep feed in weaning. The only discriminator – even at D28 – was whether or not the pigs had been given Px from Days 2-8 of life.
See how we presented intestinal morphology at AASV
Px is also very effective at helping pigs make the transition through weaning. Effects of Px when given as a gruel (porridge) 1-2 days before weaning and 1-2 days after weaning are:
Increased dry matter intake post-weaning
Increased % of pigs that gain weight in the first 7 days after weaning
And this is especially true in the small piglets weighing less than 4.1 kg (9 lb)
Positive ADG in the First Week Post-Weaning
Number and Percentage of Piglets By Feed Group and Weight Class
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Always read and follow all label directions. Px dry powder should not be fed prior to proper mixing. Buyers and trial participants assume all responsibility for proper use, storage and handling of this product.