Skip to main content

Small intestine development in chicks after hatch and in pigs around the time of weaning and its relation with nutrition: A review

Buy Article:

$63.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The period after hatch in broilers and around the time of weaning in pigs is critical for development and for adaptation of the small intestine to the nutritional changes. In broilers, the small-intestinal weight relative to body weight and villous height increase rapidly during the first week after hatch. After the first week, the relative small-intestinal weight decreases gradually, but the villous height continues to increase. In pigs, at 4 d after weaning, villous height decreases to about 60% of the pre-weaning height when weaned between 1 and 4 wk of age. Two weeks after weaning, this recovers to similar values as in unweaned control animals independent of weaning age. Small-intestinal development after hatch and after weaning consistently deteriorates at low feed intake levels and with suboptimal protein nutrition. These findings stress the importance of applying an optimal nutritional strategy in these phases of life to reach optimal small-intestinal development.

Keywords: Feed intake; intestinal weight; protein nutrition; villous height

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Provimi Research Centre ‘De Viersprong’, Velddriel, The Netherlands 2: Nutriad, Turnhout, Belgium 3: Animal Nutrition Group,Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2012-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more