versão impressa ISSN 0301-5092
SOUZA, Tércia Cesária Reis de et al. Nutritional changes in piglets and morphophysiologic development of their digestive tract. Vet. Méx [online]. 2012, vol.43, n.2, pp. 155-173. ISSN 0301-5092.
This review shows the development of the pig gastrointestinal tract (GIT) since intrauterine life. Immediately after birth, the GIT begins another important stage in its ontogenesis, which ensures for the piglets to have access to the protective substances in colostrum and milk nutrients. Another important stage in the development of the GIT begins after weaning. In general, life changes in the days around weaning leading to a decrease in feed intake, which, in turn, leads to nutritional stress that results in the atrophy of intestinal villi, diminishing the piglets ability to digest and absorb nutrients necessary for growth. The small intestine loses weight due to a net loss of intestinal mucosa. The decrease in voluntary feed intake also produces a reduction in both pancreatic enzyme activity, due to lack of substrate, and brush border enzyme activity, due to physical loss of enterocytes in the small intestine and to lack of substrate. Once the animals begin to eat solid food the organism goes through an adaptation process to all the adverse factors previously mentioned and GIT growth and digestive function are restored. During this process, the amount of feed provided to the newly weaned piglet and the ingredients used play an important role in GIT maturation.
Palavras-chave : piglet nutrition; weaning; digestive physiology; gastrointestinal tract development.