Colostrum Intake and Body Temperature Key Factors Influence Piglet Survivability

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Farmscape for April 12, 2018

Full Interview 5:35 Listen

An Associate Veterinarian with Demeter Veterinary Services says keeping newly born piglets warm and ensuring they get a g ood dose of colostrum quickly are the key factors that will influence their survivability.”Early Pig Care, the Piglet: Off To The Races” was among the topics discussed as part of the 2018 London Swine Conference.
Dr. Ryan Tenbergen, an Associate Veterinarian with Demeter Veterinary Services, says piglets are born with low energy reserves, they don’t have any immune protection so everything they need comes from mom so it’s very important to give these piglets everything they need in their early life and that starts with colostrum intake.

Clip-Dr. Ryan Tenbergen-Demeter Veterinary Services:
That is so important to that new born piglet.It gives them the energy they need, it gives them the protection from disease they need, it gives them the growth factors and things t hey need for maturation of their body systems.
Colostrum, like any other s pecies, that’s the first milk produced by the mammary gla nd.What’s different about that is it’s much higher in things like ener gy, it has the immune cells that newborn animals or humans ne ed so it’ very important that they get that right away and they are able to absorb that.In pigs actually, the piglet only has a limited time that it can absorb those things.That’s about 24 to 36 hours.After that point you’re not going to get those immune cells and things that will protect that piglet from disease until it can develop its own immune system.
It may be surprising but it actually takes about 30 minutes for those new born piglets to find the udder and get a good meal of milk.As that time increases and they don’t get that milk the y need, it just delays when they get that and that has implications on their survivability and their thriving in that suckling period.

Dr. Tenbergen notes, as the body temperature becomes lower, the piglets become more sluggish, they’re not able to compete and they can’t get the milk they need, so body temperature is another thing to focus on.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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