Upon weaning, when piglets are moving from the farrowing stage to the nursery houses, they have to make the change from drinking liquid sow milk to eating dry weaner diet. Piglets should eat around 400 grams per day post-weaning to reach the same metabolic energy intake as pre-weaning, mainly by drinking sow milk. Unfortunately, this is an unrealistic quantity direct after weaning; as a result the common problems related to the weaning dip occur. For that reason more focus should be on fat sources, fat quality and fat dispersion.
Serolat fat-filled is a dairy concentrate developed to reduce the energy gap after weaning by providing highly digestible and homogenized spray dried fat, based on coconut and palm oil. With Serolat fat-filled piglets reach the most efficient energy utilization.
The importance of homogenized spray dried fat
Most piglet diets are based on mechanical fat, a liquid fat that is sprayed on the feed. This fat is coarse (50μ) and difficult to digest. It has to be ‘homogenized’ or ‘predigested’ by the piglet into smaller fat particles, before the piglet can profit from the energy. Right after weaning piglets lack the right tools to digest and absorb fat easily. This is caused by a low production of bile acids that emulsifies fat particles into smaller particles. Secondly, the lipase secretion falls back after weaning. This is why homogenized spray dried fat is essential in a piglet diet for maximum digestion. Homogenized spray dried fat consist of fat particles of on average 1μ, which is even smaller than the fat globules found in sow milk (average 5μ). While mechanical fat consists of large fat globules of on average 50μ. Therefore, the number of fat particles in spray dried fat is
much higher, which causes a surface increase of around 600 times. This makes it much easier for the digestion enzymes to digest the fat and to deliver fast energy to the piglet.
The importance of coconut oil
All Serolat fat-filled concentrates contain palm and coconut oil in a ratio of 50:50. Coconut oil contains high levels of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) and is well-known for its fast energy supply, high digestibility and antimicrobial properties. Palm oil is added for its growth enhancing properties. The ratio of 50:50 secures an optimal balance between health, energy supply and growth of piglets. To assure maximum absorption of the dietary fats, the Serolat fat-filled concentrates also include a nutritional emulsifier.