Discussion created on 08/17/2010

Post Farrowing in pig

Forum: Post Farrowing Feed Intake

What factors contribute to low lactation feed intake the first week post farrowing? What can be done to improve this condition?

Denny Ketelsen
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Gregg Bisset Gregg Bisset
Pig farmer
August 17, 2010
(1) Ensure sows are not too fat
(2) Monitor birth rates as while too low can be a problem so can too high. Monitor still births.
(3) Feed pre farrowing supplement to ensure sows mobilise calcium from the bone to aid smooth muscle contractions
(3) Monitor births intervence if longer than 30 - 40 minutes (monitor still births)
(4) Have a goal of sow farrowing in 4 hours. Shorter the time taken the better the recovery.
(5) Use pain relief for any suspect sows as this will encourage them to stand and eat
(6) Any sows who do not get up withinn 6 hours of farrowing stand up and if possible take for a walk makes sure she drinks as drinking is more important in the first phase thise ensure bowel movements and desire to eat ( not to mention milk is mostly milk)
(7) Aviod or limit the use of prostaglandins ( we supervise farrowings 24 hours a day ( batch farrow 1000 sows unit)
(8) Do not over feed prior to farrowing and ensure prefarrowing supplement includes high fibre levels
(9) Avoid ingredients high in potsassium
(10) Ensure sows dung is right so in the case of pelleted feed include a high [percent] of rolled rather than fine grind grains. This allows gases to pass through and stops bloating. Dung texture is more important than dung consistency.
(11) Ensure sows are not in any shape way or form even slightly constipated as this not only interferes with sow feed intake it also causes unexplained scours in piglets
(12) Use all things to ensure stockperson relationship with sows is good.This starts as soon as sows enter the farrowing house. Talking to sows and gaining their confidence prior to farrowing can play an important part in the speed of farrowing. Limit noise, play soft quiet background music, agitated or tense sows talk to and calm and use chopped straw nesting calms sows particulalry gilts. Be calm lock piglets away from sows for a period if possible to let her have some readjustment time and get her up and at least drinking. Leave a sow lay there and you will never get her up.

Our goals is to have sows eating 7 kgs average in one week and we wean at 28 days sows are eating 10-12 kgs a day. Big bowls, hand fed, with water dump valves is the only way we have been able to get the water intake to sustain the feed intake. Observe the dung it is the greatest indicator to what is happening.

Gregg Bisset Australia
James Damrow James Damrow
Hog farm manager
August 25, 2010

What is the supplement or ingredients that you use to get sow to utilize the calcium from their bones prior to aand during partuition?

August 26, 2010
Gregg, that is a very comprehensive answer with regard to management of the sow. I found many of the strategies and protocols you mention to be important to successful sow performance and comfort.
Something that appears to effect sow intake post farrowing is the digestive transit. We have studied digestive transit in the sow (mouth to feces) and in the normal gestating sow, she will have a 28-38 hour transit time based upon the fiber level in the diet. Three days prior to farrowing there is a huge disruption in the microflora and the transit time is reduced even with high fiber diets to 72 hours. As a result we generally see sluggish sow intake the first few days post farrowing and somewhat erradic intake patterns that appear to be effected by the transit time prior to farrowing using an ash marker to evaluate. We have found with the addition of the live yeast strain S. Boulardii, (commerical name Levucell SB) the microflora will stabulize and therefore dont see the negative effects of intake abnormalities due the sows digestive upsets. Studies show the Levucell SB fed sows start eating better the first few hours and continue in increase intake through lactation. With a sow that losses less weight during lactation, we also see an improved estrus interval.
Denny Ketelsen USA
August 27, 2010
Gregg, what is the supplement that you use for calcium mobilization on pre-farrowing ? (the one you refer in your excelent text). Thanks...
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