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Total pre-weanig mortality (%)


%


Piglet birth weight (g)


PHOTO: CARGILL


NUTRITION ▶▶▶


Figure 3A and 3B - Total pre-weaning mortality and individual piglet birth weight for the control compared to the optimal dose of the nutritional concept for sow feed*.


21.0 20.0 19.0 18.0


17.0 16.0 15.0 14.0


13.0 12.0


Control Optimal dose


Source: Van den Bosch and others (2019). * LivaPig, Cargill.


-4.3%


1390 1370 1350


1330 1310


1290 1270 1250


Control Optimal dose Healthy piglets drinking from a sow.


quired less farrowing assistance and gave birth to heavier piglets. Piglet livability improved by 3% (see Figure 4). Those observations suggest that the sow feed concept could do more than just support sows through farrowing. In the major- ity of the test farms, piglets were more than 500 grammes heavier at weaning when fed by sows receiving the supple- ment during lactation.


These higher weaning weights could be explained in two ways: 1. A direct effect of the higher birth weights and vitality of piglets; and


2. An improved blood and nutrient flow to the udder during lactation, leading to a potentially higher milk yield, as suggested by S.W. Kim and others at North Carolina State University, USA, in 2009, from a similar experiment using NO precursors.


Feeding to farrow In conclusion, it is important to feed highly productive sows not only to produce milk, but also to farrow. Increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients, by supplementing LivaPig trough sow diets, to reproductive tissues and piglets in utero will lead to higher piglet livability and litter weights at wean- ing. In a 1,000 head sow farm, this higher sow productivity is equivalent to more than 1,200 additional piglets per year. Another way to look at sow productivity is through its bene- fits to greenhouse gas emissions. Using the sow feed concept allows the same output to be obtained as on a 1,000 sow farm, with 28 sows fewer. This reduces the environmental footprint by 17.5 tonnes of CO2


+ 45 grams


equivalent per year. Moreover,


higher livability means improved piglet welfare. These are im- portant outcomes to support in sustainable pork production.


References available upon request


Figure 4 - Improvement of piglet livability as observed in European sow farms using the nutritional concept* for sow feed. Piglet livability is calculated as the percent of weaner pigs over the number of total born pigs.


Livability


80 82 84 86 88


68 70 72 74 76 78


66 DK, 2018


Source: Cargill field data. * LivaPig, Cargill


CZ, 2018 NL, A, 2018 NL, A, 2019 NL, B, 2019 BE, 2018 BE, 2019 ES, 2019 control 85.0 82.3 80.8 78.0 78.7 77.4 73.9 81.4 82.3 82.9 83.2 82.0 81.2 80.4 nutritional concept for sow feed* 85.4 86.2


46


▶PIG PROGRESS | Volume 36, No. 4, 2020


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