Investigating the potential of sow nutrition to slash stillbirth rates, boost colostrum levels

While in the present day’s sows are producing bigger litters, challenges corresponding to excessive stillbirth charges stay – round 10% in excessive prolific herds – together with the opposite productiveness hurdles corresponding to low birthweight piglets.

Data offered by Pieter Langendijk, analysis scientist, Trouw Nutrition, at ESPHM 2020+1, means that focusing interventions on each piglets and sows might scale back asphyxia – oxygen deprivation – and stillbirth.  

“We began this venture about six years in the past, figuring out that that stillborn fee was an enormous drawback within the swine trade, the following affect it has on productiveness. We wished to cut back the stillborn charges. What we did first was to try to establish what had been the underlying causes of stillbirths. We tried to find out why some sows take so lengthy to farrow, one of many greatest points associated to stillbirths, and see why sure sows have stillborn piglets and others [around 40%] don’t. After figuring out the underling components, we then wished to construct on that, and develop options, ideally dietary ones,”​ he informed FeedNavigator.

Risk components for stillbirths

The scientists, by way of intensive monitoring, decided that one threat issue for stillbirths was the extent of calcium within the sow’s blood. “We took frequent blood samples, and, by doing so, we had been capable of set up that there have been variations in blood calcium ranges within the sows with an extended farrowing course of and stillborn piglets in comparison with these sows with shorter farrowing occasions and no stillbirths. We might see that sows that didn’t have compromised farrowing had been capable of preserve calcium ranges all through the farrowing interval whereas the opposite sows confirmed a drop in blood calcium ranges.”

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