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Effect of different management techniques to enhance colostrum intake on piglets' growth and mortality

By R. Muns, X. Manteca, J. Gasa

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An experiment was conducted to study the effect four different management techniques to enhance colostrum intake had on piglet and litter performance. Treatments were performed on piglets born weighing 1.30 kg or less (SP) within 6 h of birth: control group (CON); split-nursing of the litter for 2 h allowing only the SP piglets free access to teats (SPLIT); oral supplementation with 15 ml of sow colostrum to the SP piglets of the litter (COL); and oral supplementation with 3 ml of an energy product (Calostrene) to the SP piglets of the litter (EN). Thirty-nine primiparous sows (Large White * Landrace) and their litters (507 piglets) and 100 multiparous sows and their litters (1,375 piglets) were used. Litters were fixed at 12 piglets. Piglets were weighed through lactation. Mortality was recorded. For primiparous sows, oral supplementation with COL enhanced SP piglets bodyweight (BW) at day 1 compared to CON, SPLIT, and EN. However, no differences on BW were observed at day 18 nor on litter total pre-weaning mortality. Nonetheless, lower SP piglets' mortality rate was found in CON and EN compared to SPLIT and COL groups in primiparous sows. For multiparous sows, no differences among treatments were observed for SP piglets BW at day 1 or at day 18. Primiparous sows' SP piglets had higher BW at day 1 than multiparous sows' SP piglets. Colostrum supplementation of low birth weight piglets improved early weight gain in piglets born from primiparous sows, probably by enhancing their colostrum intake, but it did not affect piglets' weaning BW or pre-weaning mortality.

Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 185-192
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
DOI 10.7120/09627286.24.2.185
Language English
Author Address Servei de Nutricio i Benestar Animal, Departament de Ciencia Animal i dels Aliments, Facultat de Veterinaria, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), Bellaterra 08193, Catalonia,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal nutrition
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Birth
  5. Body weight
  6. Colostrum
  7. Dog Breeds
  8. Humans
  9. Infants
  10. Lactation
  11. Land
  12. Litter
  13. Litters
  14. Mammals
  15. Mathematics and statistics
  16. Men
  17. mortality
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. performance traits
  20. Pigs
  21. Primates
  22. sows
  23. Suiformes
  24. supplementary feeding
  25. teats
  26. Techniques
  27. ungulates
  28. vertebrates
  29. weaning
  30. Weight
  1. peer-reviewed