January 1, 2016
“To have a high lactation it requires a food with a high level of nutrition in order to produce higher milk in the sow body”
For the past years, the genetic progress in pig production has given rise to sows that are more prolific with a higher litter size and leaner meat. The importance of sow lactation is sometimes neglected by many farmers since the milk is not the major product they sell. However, sow’s milk is the utmost source of early nutrition of the new born piglets to ensure their survival. About 20-30% of early mortality is due to lack of adequate milk (colostrums) intake after farrowing.
The lactation capacity of the modern sow may vary depending on its genetic line. To have high lactation requires feed with higher levels of nutrition in order to produce better milk. During the lactation period, sows are obliged to draw lots of energy to accommodate her piglets, which leads to the sows’ loss in body weight and muscle tissue. If not managed, it could be deterrent to future sow performance such as increased weaned-to-oestrus period and decrease in litter size.
ensure sufficient milk and reduce body weight loss. However, feed intake can be affected by various environmental stresses, like heat stress and digestive discomfort, which are common in the last days of gestation and few days after farrowing. Using Probiotics in feeds is proven to enhanced digestive comfort and to increase feed intake during lactation period.
Probiotic Yeast in Sow Feed Intake
The used of beneficial microorganisms (Probiotics) in feed additives for growing pigs has a similar effect in sows in enhancing digestibility in the gut. The used of yeast culture particularly in ruminant animals is no longer new and was already used in dairy animals in enhancing their milk production. In commercial feed industries the use of probiotics yeast is not as common. Specialized artificial ingredients or chemicals are used instead to enhance lactation performance in sows. Using yeast in sows have produced similar effects in improving lactation and digestion comfort.
As part of the continued advocacy in natural hog farming, Feedpro designed feeds exclusive for breeding sows using high quality strains of yeast culture. Feeds can be given to the saw in three ways: dry, wet, and in liquid or fermented form. Among all of these, liquid feeding or fermentated feeding is most recommended. During the process of fermentation, feeds are in placed in a pre-digested state so that its nutrients can be easily absorbed by the gut. Sows usually lose appetite due to discomfort in the gut as a normal process. Feeding using fermented feed can help stimulate appetite and improve digestion.
When using Feepro, fermentation can be done by soaking feeds overnight or 12 hours prior to feeding with 1:3 ratio (feed-to-water) both for gilts and sows. Feeding to lactating sows may be on ad libitum basis and the feed consumption may vary depending on the number of suckling piglets. The possible increase in piglet’s weight is not directly attributed to voluntary feed intake of the sow but rather on her enhanced lactation brought about by yeast. The general effects of yeast is increased sow milk production, improved milk quality, and improved nutrient digestibility. There is little difference between artificial ingredients and yeast probiotics in enhancing lactation but the use of the latter will likely lower the chemical tolerance of the sow and the possible traces of chemical residue in the carcass meat if not properly treated.
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