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A Good Start in the Pigs Life Means a Good Finish

12 June 2015

It is’s vital that the pig gets off to a good start in life as this will go with the pig throughout its life, through to slaughter. One kg extra weight at 6 weeks means 1-3 kg more weight at slaughter, 3-4 days less to finish and $ 2-3 more profit margin, said Hubert van Hees. Nutreco R&D, speaking at the 2nd UK Trouw pig nutrition conference, writes Stuart Lumb for ThePigSite.

It is vital that pigs are kept healthy. In the nursery and grower phases, groups with a low mortality needed less medication and grew faster than groups with high losses.

The high losses group needed far more medication plus grew slower in terms of ADG. (Fels and Huiskes 1996).

Immune Competence

Primiparous sows (gilts) confer less immune competence via the colostrum / milk.

  PI offspring P2 offspring
Nursery mortality (%) 2.96 1.52
Nursery ADG ( g /day) 430 465
Nursery drug costs(US$) 1.37 0.53
Finisher mortality (%) 3.8 3.25
Finisher ADG (g/day) 795 820
Finisher drug cost(US$) 1.07 0.77

Moore 2005

Preparing for Weaning – Quality or Quantity?

Studies show that feeding an energy dense product Milkiwean yoghurt (YMS) to suckling pigs from day 2 to day 21 improves their intestinal growth and development .

Also YMS fed pigs had increased epithelial cell proliferation.

Furthermore, YMS stimulated the growth of the small intestine, both in length and diameter.

Hence intestine growth increased plus there was increased epithelial cell proliferation in the crypts, all resulting in a more mature intestine at weaning.

The Low Weight Piglet

In an ideal world pigs would be like peas in a pod- all growing at the same rate and importantly all reaching slaughter weight at the same age. But pigs are not identical and we have a problem with ”tail ender” pigs, the slow growers which reduce the throughput through the barn.

Often these tail enders are the low birth weight pigs in the litter. However, the performance of low birth weight piglets can be stimulated.

Feeding more of a high spec. diet from weaning until +/-49 days to light piglets (+/-1kg birth weight) improved their body weight. (Douglas et al. 2014)

Also of interest:


June 2015

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