Engormix/Pig Industry/Technical articles

Stillbirth Reduction

SowFix – a Helpful Tool in Increasing the Number of Liveborn Piglets

Published on: 4/11/2011
Author/s : Hans Aae (Vitfoss Denmark)
The high-yielding sow faces many challenges in order to secure that as many piglets as possible are weaned at a satisfactory weaning weight.

● A large number of foetuses may result in prolonged farrowing
● Many and large piglets may result in skinny sows

Prolonged farrowings

Increasing litter sizes prolong the time of farrowing. A good and problem-free farrowing is among other things secured by the energy balance of the sow. If the energy balance is low, there is a risk that the sequence of farrowing will increase. Subsequently one or more piglets may die during farrowing.

SowFix consists of a number of elements, which are affecting the farrowing positively: 

1. It is an established fact that an application of vitamin E up to farrowing results in faster farrowings. The vitamin E in SowFix is from a natural vitamin E source. A veterinarian-controlled test showed a significantly reduced number of stillborn piglets among older sows in particular, compared to the placebo-group, when applicating additional vitamin E. Vitamin E is assumed to provide protection of the hormones, which stimulate the farrowing.

2. Micro-Aid® is a yucca product, which through numerous tests has proven a good effect preventing stillborn piglets. A meta-analysis has shown a reduction of stillborn by 40%, when applicating Micro-Aid® prior to farrowing.

3. SowFix contains raw materials, which contribute to create optimum condition for the sow's hormone production. This secures a good energy balance and stronger farrowing.

SowFix is being used in a number of herds to speed up prolonged farrowings. Several herds experience consequently a reduced number of stillborn. Dosage is 150 grams per sow per day in 5 - 7 days prior to farrowing and preferably a couple of days after in order to start the sows.

SowFix – a Helpful Tool in Increasing the Number of Liveborn Piglets - Image 1

Negative energy balance at weaning

A high milk yield combined with a low feed intake results in skinny sows at weaning. All tests and practical experiences show that these skinny sows have a poor heat. Several days pass from weaning to service (additional non-productive days), the heat of the sows is poorer (a reduced number of eggs released), a reduced number of foetus implemented in the uterus and a high return rate. All things considered, a good energy balance in the sows is a precondition for a sound economy in the next parity.

SowFix – a Helpful Tool in Increasing the Number of Liveborn Piglets - Image 2
End lactation

1. Vitamin E is also referred to as the reproduction vitamin. Application of the natural vitamin E, which has a high biological value to the sows, contributes to creating a strong heat and many liveborn piglets. Vitamin E is assumed to provide a high protection of the hormones, which stimulate the reproduction.

2. NEB is the greatest challenge in connection with weaning. SowFix contains raw materials, which secure a good energy supply to cells, subsequently providing the best conditions for the sow to establish the next litter.

Stimulation of heat is the main employment of SowFix. Sows, which are skinny at weaning, gilts and first parity sows are "risk sows", which often show poor heat and produce return-to-oestrus sows. A significantly stronger heat is achieved, if the sows are given 150 gr SowFix per sow per day. Start application 3 - 4 days prior to weaning and continue until service. 

SowFix is a combination of the current knowledge in the field of improved number of liveborn piglets. It is worth considering to give SowFix to the entire herd, to problem sows or giving it at problematic times during the year. High productivity is an essential precondition for a sound economy.
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