<%@LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.3"%> Swine Production Management - Farrowing - Lactation Feed Intake

Lactation Feed Intake

  1. Healthy sow
    • Absence of disease - mastitis, lameness, gastric ulcer
    • Absence of parasites - Mange, Ascaris and other worms
    • Absence of edema
    • Clean farrowing house - All-in All-out and good breeding controls
  2. Gestation feed intake
    • Negative relationship between feeding the dry sow and feed intake when lactating

    Pregnancy Feeding Levels (kg/day)

    (Harker and Cole 1985)

  2.6 2.0 1.6
Mean lactation feed intake 4.7 5.6 5.9
Weaning to service interval (days) 15.3 7.1 4.0
P2 change mm -2.8 -1.1 0.0
  1. Monitoring of feed intake
    • Suggested feed curves 1 and 2
    • Using a feeding curve. However, ensure you know the actual volume/density of feed being fed. Weigh out a scoop on a regular basis. Minimize the number of stock people feeding lactating sows and ensure that they all use the same feeding scale. Record feeding scale as this forces discipline. Note volume and weight relationships vary depending on milling and type of feed.
  2. Number of times feed
    • Twice is commonly practiced. Three times will enhance intake but may also increase risk of trauma and trampling of the piglets. Note avoid mid-day feeding in the summertime as feed increases the sow's body temperature. Wet feeding lactating sow can produce very good results. Ad lib feeding should be considered.
  3. Type of ration fed
    • Single ration as compared with two rations. Ideal lactation ration of 18% protein and 14 MJ per kg. Lysine concentration of > 1% is required. Increasing the protein consumption increases weaning weights, increasing the energy reduces weaning to service intervals. Note with crystalline lysine, other aminoacids may become limiting, in particular valine and thionine. To enhance aminoacid intake, top- dress with fish meal at 150 g per day.
  4. Palatability
    • Keep the food clean by having good storage controls and feed bin hygiene. Note changes in diet specifications. Pigs have very sensitive noses. Ad-lib feeding is not yet available in the farrowing house. Note trough design. Avoid mycotoxins in feed.
  5. Water supply
    • A shortage of water will reduce feed intake. The lactating sow needs a flow rate of more than 2 liters per minute. At the peak of lactation she may drink more than 40 liters per day (10 gallons). Enhancing water supplies in the farrowing house will significantly reduce sow deaths associated with cystitis and pyelonephritis. Wet feeding has greatly assisted several farms.
  6. Forward trough design
    • Ensure the feed is accessible, Ensure no feed is wasted. Wasted feed results in flies and expense. Troughs with lips and difficult corners may result in moldy feed which reduces palatability
  7. Temperature of farrowing house
    • Ideally run at 16-18? C. Increased farrowing house temperatures reduces feed intake. With farrowing house temperatures at around 24?C the sows require drip cooling. Some farrowing houses run hotter than 18?C because of poor creep design. The use of heat mats may help feed intake as it can help to reduce the room temperature.
  8. Stockmanship
    • Quiet and attentive stockpeople are needed. Good attention to sow behavior. The playing of music helps to quiet the stock down.
  9. Floor type
    • Cooling (heat conductive) floors can enhance feed intake in warm climate
  10. Breed of pig
    • Ensure you use genetic lines of pigs which have good appetites, with good mothering abilities. Beware of selecting from mothers with poor lactation feed intakes and poor weaning weights/numbers.
  11. Gilt management
    • Provide gilts with strong piglets to encourage milk flow
  12. 10 pigs per sow
    • Ensure all mammae are working. Note failure of a mammary gland will reduce next farrowing output to 70% of optima.

The aims of lactation feeding:
1. Maintain sow condition
2. Maximize piglet weaning weights 7+ kg at 24 days
3. Reduce weaning to service interval to 4-5 days as this will enhance future litter size.