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Influence of massage during simulated non-nutritive nursings on piglets' milk intake and weight gain

By G. Illmann, M. Spinka, Z. Stetkova

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Two experiments were conducted with the aim of investigating whether non-nutritive suckling (suckling without milk ejection), when included into a regular rhythm of suckling with milk ejection, affects milk intake and liveweight gain during early lactation in pigs. In experiment 1, when the piglets were 9-12 days old, 8 sows were forced to suckle every 70 min 3-times in succession. Between sucklings, 2 piglets had an additional opportunity to massage the sow's teats from which they had been suckling. Milk intake was estimated by the weigh-suckle-weigh method. Additional massage on the 2 teats had no influence on milk output from these teats during subsequent suckling. In experiment 2, on day 7 or 8 post partum, 16 sows were forced to suckle at every 70 min for 24 h. In 9 of the sows (group MIN70 + 15), non-nutritive suckling was induced 15 min after each nutritive suckling. In the other group of 7 sows (MIN70), there was no opportunity for this additional massage. The total duration of udder massage was considerably longer in group MIN70 + 15 (median 271 min vs. 165 min, Mann-Whitney U-test, P<0.005) than in MIN70. Nevertheless, the liveweight gain during the whole 24-h period was similar in both groups (157 vs. 141 g, Mann-Whitney U-test, not significant). Both groups showed a similar decrease in liveweight during the 24-h manipulation of suckling rhythm compared with liveweight gain during an unmanipulated period of 24 h 1 day before (group MIN70 + 15 decreased 28% and group MIN70 decreased 31

Date 1998
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 55
Issue 3/4
Pages 279-289
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Research Institute of Animal Production, Uhrineves, CZ-104 00 Prague 10, Czech Republic.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Dairy animals
  4. Intake
  5. Liveweight gains
  6. Mammals
  7. Massage
  8. Milk and dairy products
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. Pigs
  11. sows
  12. suckling
  13. Swine
  14. yields
  1. peer-reviewed