Sow feeding levels affect lightweight piglet performance

Source: Chris McCullough, Pig Progress, 29 March 2021, photo credit: Ronald Hissink/Pigs Progress

Low birthweight piglets can perform just a well as their heavier siblings, but taking a closer look at feeding the sow can help give them a better start.

Knowing that weaning weight is a key determinant of lifetime performance, research at the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland, UK, during the past year investigated the growth response of low and average birthweight piglets when reared on sows which were offered different levels of lactation feed intake.

The outcomes were published in 2 publications in the peer-reviewed journals Translational Animal Science and Livestock Science. They aimed to investigate whether any improvements in the weaning weights of low birthweight pigs would be retained during the growing and finishing periods.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.