Re: Feeding strategy for piglets
Bonjour,......sorry for my English!
Ive been invited to participate at the discussion but Im lost in ideas!
Isnt the question about birth to reproduction? So I understand management of our future sows (gilts), right?
In this case you shouldnt get anything about adding milk or other product to get these piglets to grow faster. This animal (female or male) must grow as naturally as possible to ensure the better choice at selection. And those good rustic female will become nice and strong sow in production…simple no?
The main idea for the piglet life (birth to wean) is to drink as much as possible milk which is the best product he can have to get good starts in life. On the other hand high milk production by sow will increase body condition of the sow at weaning (mean she will have work a lot so she wont be too fat and especially first farrow sow will have been trained to produce milk at the next parity). At this is not questioning at all, YES piglet’s quality start during gestation, by sow and feed management. This gestation management is also the moment where the sow is getting ready for the following farrowing and 21 or 28 days of lactation! So not too fat to farrowed easily and not to thin to produce and support high level milk period.
As we all known (people who work in farm) water quality is always an issue so its good to not be in the rush to have piglets at the water nipples! This can reduce risk of diarrhea.
The best practice in production still good process of adoption and splitting piglets during the first 48 hours of their life. For it, people must be able to recognize good milking sow of the group to place on her all small one then to count working teats by sow to place adequately number by sow.
We known also some “prolific” genetic that increase numbers born alive but decrease average weight by piglet born. Here is even more important to calibrate properly each litter to ensure also that each individual get access to colostrums!
Then high number by sow are usually pushing producer to early wean part of each litter. Today this early wean practice is easily done with 5 to 7 days old piglets and it work quite well by following basics process: warm, dry, clean area warm, clean diet…different good feed are available on the market to succeed BUT still, the producer “talent” will do the best! As we do have several units over 30 piglets wean by sow by year, it’s easy to understand that they do need early weaning!
For large scale herd, producer should prefer good, rustic genetic, to avoid risk of this early wean management as it’s almost impossible to stabilize results (low level of professionalism, turn over…)
So during lactation priority MUST be given to sow milk. Crape feed can be given after 10 days essentially to get piglet ready to dry feed in nursery. This crape feed must be given on very small quantity but very often during the day (5 to 7 times by day) to increase freshness of the feed in the draught. Also more often you give feed more often they will come the feeder to play and eat some feed at the same time…basics! :)
Then piglet quality and growth will depend on the length of lactation. At 21 days or 28 days old for weaning ,difficulties are not the same in nursery!
In the nursery too: feeder and water quality, producer or employee quality, ventilation or building quality will make differences! for the story: I had to managed different unit (5000 to 2500 sows ) then we had 2 nursery of 8000 places each which was getting same piglets, same feed, had same building… but huge differences in death rate and growth… The only problem was the manager!
As wean is a multiplication of stress (cut of the milk so lost of milk heat and mother heat as well, new building, new piglets in pen… is very important to find right tunes as soon as possible to not lost too much time in growth.
The management is the more difficult tool in producing pigs in general and even more difficult during the first 3-4 week of nursery.
• Lot’s of nutritionist know what good for the pig and we find huge possibilities on the feed market today,
• We also known troubles around water quality and here too lot’s of possibilities available on the market, depending on the situation (PH, iron…)
BUT only the producer has the final choice and the evaluation must be done unit by unit and not because of the neighbor choice! :)
Feeding program is a big chapter because is the most expensive part of pig production expenses, so everyone always come with the “best” formula!...but like some of you remind it, economic is essential in the practice. By experience “on field” we are lots to agree that the following program is working: NURSERY 3 steps = starter, first age, second age. FINISHER 2 steps: grower, finisher. Then each unit or nutritionist will adapt regarding genetic, building, feeding system, raw material, part of the world…etc. I personally like the idea to reduce as much as possible feed stage during the growing period as it’s resolving lot’s of troubles in management so automatically in production results.
I hope this will help and hope that I was in the right subject…merci.
Technique & management