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Flushing Results in Heavier Piglets

by 5m Editor
23 March 2010, at 1:39pm

NETHERLANDS - An increased feeding of sows during the insemination phase results in a higher piglet birthweight.

This is one of the main conclusions of a study by Topigs at 19 Dutch pig farms with in total population of more than 7000 sows. An extra one kilo of feed intake during the insemination period results in a birthweight 45 grams higher.

Interestingly, sows fed lactation feed during the insemination phase give birth to piglets 51 grams heavier than sows fed gestation feed.

This illustrates the importance of looking at the energy and protein content of the feed given during the insemination phase, as this seems to affect the birthweight of the piglets.

The research also found other factors that positively influence piglet birthweight:

  • more feed during gestation
  • higher energy intake during lactation
  • introduction of gilts via a quarantine
  • group housing of the sows
  • no use of prostaglandins at farrowing
  • a high farm hygiene level

Combining all positive factors, the average birthweight of piglets can in theory increase by 442 grams per piglet. These results show that there are a lot of opportunities for improving piglet birthweight by taking appropriate management actions.

Topigs is a world leader in pig genetics and the absolute market leader in several countries. Topigs is the biggest genetic supplier in Europe. Worldwide Topigs is one of the major genetic suppliers. Excellent breeding programmes and the resulting customer commitment are the key to Topigs success.