Early development of immune competence leads to more piglets weaned
he newborn piglet has very few immune relevant cells in the gut and its associated lymphoid tissues. Initially, they are protected only by maternal immune factors provided through the sow’s milk. In the first phase of life piglets develop their own immune system, but this is a slow process. At the age of weaning the immune system is not yet mature and the impact of abrupt removal of maternal protection, coupled with stress and infection pressure, are resulting in an immunity gap. Adding functional nutrients that augment immune development in the young animal can provide the animal with a competent immune system in later life, while reducing the need for antibiotic interventions.