As reported in a 2019 article, weaning “represents one of the most critical stages in pig production, which is reflected in the high piglet morbidity and mortality for this period.” Experienced pig farmers know that production initiated with the healthiest piglets is best and supporting their adaptation throughout different phases is also crucial. Yet, what about the management of the sow? It is just as important that the sow receives the same attention if optimal outcomes are desired.
That, as most farmers know, means managing many areas before, during and after farrowing. Doing so, however, will improve piglet birth weight and fetal growth while reducing risks associated with inflammatory stress and oxidative stress (common causes for embryo absorption or fetal death).
One method of intervention to improve sow health is to incorporate antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents into the diet. This is particularly true during the lactation phase and weaning periods. Better management of the period immediately after birth and ensuring that individual piglets consume at least 250 grams of colostrum is also crucial to health and wellness. Providing sows with the attention needed for mammary gland development at the end of gestation is important, and that is best done by avoiding the overfeeding of sows throughout gestation.
As that report noted, “lean tissue must be mobilized at the end of gestation as there is a positive relationship between colostrum production and urea and plasma creatinine plasma levels.” Taking measures to boost blood flow and mammary gland development are key strategies and this is best done through optimal feeding and watering systems, and housing that enables easy monitoring and control of gestating sows and weaning piglets.
IDS Pigs provides farmers with cutting edge housing systems designed specifically to optimize the health of sows at any phase of breeding as well as weaning. With finishing houses and a wide range of options for cleaner housing, it is possible to ensure sows remain healthy throughout any phase of production.