Fasting, transportation, and diet particle size influence development of stomach ulceration in pigs

Purdue University 1996 Swine Research Report. often results in pig death at approximately 150 lbs live weight or poor finishing pig performance. Ulceration in the pig occurs in the unprotected nonglandular epithelium of the esophageal region of the stomach. Fasting, or major reductions in feed intake, pelleting and fine grinding of the diet, crowding, and transportation have all been implicated as factors which may contribute to ulceration in pigs, and are present in some swine production systems. The factors which have received the most attention are pelleting and fine grinding of the diet. These feed processing methods may result in as much as an 8% improvement in feed efficiency. However, as little as a 3 – 4% death loss due to ulceration during the finishing phase may negate the economic benefits achieved through enhanced feed efficiency. Reported death loss due to ulceration in many herds feeding a finely ground diet following major reductions in feed intake, such as occur during the summer or following a disease outbreak, is much greater than the 4% which is economically acceptable. Before management or treatment strategies can be developed to inhibit ulceration, an understanding of the effect of various management and dietary factors on the esophageal epithelium must be attained. Therefore, the objective of these experiments was to develop a model of the development of ulceration in pigs in response to fasting, transportation, and diet particle size.