Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


There has been much interest in the possibility and feasibility of weaning pigs at an early age with attempts to wean pigs as early as one to two hours post-partum. Most workers, however, have concentrated their studies upon weaning at two to four weeks of age. When pigs are weaned at this early age, it is important to utilize feedstuffs that will result in an economical, highly palatable, starter diet that will provide rapid and efficient pig gains. Therefore, the diet must provide all of the essential nutrients in a readily available form and at a cost which is not prohibitive. Although acceptable gains have been reported using corn-soybean meal supplemented diets, there is evidence that additional ingredients will improve gains and efficiency. Mille by-products such as dried skim milk and dried whey are well balanced, nutritious ingredients that could be beneficial in diets for early weaned pigs. This would also give milk processors an additional outlet for their by-products, as well as benefiting the swine producer. Palatability may also be a problem when pigs are weaned at an early age. No matter how good a diet is economically and nutritionally, it is of no practical benefit if sufficient amounts are not consumed. Palatability is more difficult to measure than evaluation of other criteria of feedstuffs. Most palatability trials have been conducted by offering more than one diet at the same time. Using this method, some workers have found that baby pigs prefer a diet containing some form of sugar or sweetener. However, when these diets are fed as the only feed source, consumption often is no greater than that of a diet that does not contain sugar. Research conducted by the manufacturers of the delactosed whey product used in this study indicated that the product may be less palatable for young pigs than dried whole whey. This was thought to be due to the increased percentage of salts which occurs when someof the lactose is removed. IT this is true, then the amount of salt normally added to the diet be reduced to compensate for the higher levels of salt in the delactosed whey product.
The reasons for undertaking this study were:

1. To study the effects of feeding milk by-products, with and without sugar, in comparison to a corn-soybean meal diet.

2. To determine the effect of the increased salts in delactosed whey on palatability, feed consumption, and rate of gain.

3. To compare the free-choice selection method with the single-stimulus method of determining palatability of diets containing delactosed whey.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Feeding and feeds



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University