Zinkoxid (ZnO) in feed prevents post weaning diarrhoea (PWD) and mortality in weaned piglets but, for environmental reasons, ZnO will be banned in the EU in 2022 despite that there remain herds that are dependent on the use of ZnO (or antibiotics) at weaning.
By metagenomic analysis (sequencing the 16S-gene), we aim to develop an objective method to describe the stability of the intestinal microbiota. The aim thereafter will be to identify the efficacy of measures undertaken to enable weaning in absence of PWD. Such measures include management strategies, feeding strategies and feed recipes, which will be documented in 60 herds that phase out the use of ZnO ahead of 2022. Measures undertaken that appear to be successful in preventing PWD and stabilise the intestinal microbiota will be defined and documented. In the next step, information about such measures of success will be described and presented to stakeholders ahead of the ban of ZnO in 2022.