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Maintaining piglet quality at birth

by 5m Editor
14 December 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Birthweight and condition of piglets at birth both have a major effect on their ability to survive. While many factors are influential - such as genetics, litter size, disease - nutrition plays a major role.

JSR Genetics on ThePigSite.com

It is necessary, however, to distinguish between piglet size and condition to understand the function of nutrition, advises Mark White JSR Genetics' consultant veterinary surgeon.

The skeletal size of the piglets will be determined by the development of the placenta feeding them. If placental growth is poor then piglets will be small. Placental growth occurs during the first half of pregnancy so if overall piglet size at birth is disappointing, the feeding of the sow in early pregnancy should be assessed.

If the piglets are a decent size but in poor condition this indicates that placental growth has been adequate but nutrient flow to the piglets at the time flesh is being laid down has been compromised. This points to inadequate feeding of the sow in the last three weeks of pregnancy.

Source: JSR Genetics - 14th December 2004

5m Editor