Increasing litter size means some sows struggle at farrowing. But a new development from SCA might alleviate some of the problems.
A nutrient paste has been developed for sows during farrowing which cuts stillbirths and neonatal mortality, resulting in an average 1.75 extra piglets raised a sow each year.
ParturAid, which is claimed to improve both sow and piglet health and, therefore, overall productivity, has been globally tested.
Mike Varley of SCA NuTec says the paste has been shown to give a consistently greater number of piglets born alive, coupled with an increase in total piglets raised, which is the key to maximising profit.
“Hyper-prolificacy and incorporation of prolific genes has made considerable differences in recent years,” adds Dr Varley. “However, there is no point in producing 14 piglets a litter when two die in the farrowing process due to prolonged parturition. Prolonging the birth process often puts more pressure on sows at farrowing, resulting in increased numbers of stillbirths and neonatal mortality.”
The placenta, which is responsible for delivering oxygen to the foetal pig in the uterus, begins to break down from the beginning of farrowing, he says. “Therefore, the last two to four piglets born are compromised in terms of survival prospects, both before and after birth,” says Dr Varley.
Containing essential vitamins and minerals alongside a factor which enhances muscle tone and contractions, ParturAid is designed to be administered by a single oral dose of 30ml up to eight hours before the start of the farrowing process. “In practice, the dose is easy to apply, particularly for herds using induced farrowing techniques,” says Dr Varley.
Resulting in a return on investment of more than 7:1, ParturAid is available from SCA NuTec as a complete starter pack, including four 300ml cartridges and applicators or a refill pack, including four 300ml cartridges (visit www.scanutec.com or call 01845 578 125).