Increase piglet survival with the right feeding strategy

Increase piglet survival with the right feeding strategy

A new feeding strategy can increase liveborn piglets by 1.7 % or 0.4 more liveborn piglets per litter.


Feeding your sows correctly up until farrowing is extremely important for the productivity of the modern sows to ensure that they have the energy needed for both successful farrowing and subsequent recovery. 


Recent trials by Aarhus University and SEGES Innovation have proven that feeding your sows 3.3 – 3.8 kg feed per day from the transfer into the farrowing unit (at least 3 days before farrowing) and until farrowing increases the number of liveborn piglets by 1.7 %! 


More feed, shorter farrowings 

A previous study by Aarhus University showed that the length of farrowing was shorter, and the number of liveborn piglets was higher, when the sows started farrowing no later than 3 hours after the last feeding. This indicates that highly prolific sows can run out of energy during farrowing. 


The trials by Aarhus University and SEGES Innovation also underlined that fibre is essential. Beet pellets and fibre mix minimised the need for farrowing aids.


Changing your feeding strategy according to these new recommendations will not only increase the piglet survival in your herd, but it will also reduce the sows’ need for assistance during farrowing and develop even quicker farrowings. All in all, making the management of your sows even easier.  


We now recommend giving the sows 3.5 – 4.0 feed units [3.3 – 3.8 kg] per day from the time of transfer to the farrowing unit until farrowing. This is to ensure that the sows have enough energy to go through a quick and uncomplicated farrowing,” says Camilla Kaae Højgaard, Senior Advisor, SEGES Innovation. 


Management is essential 

If the stillborn piglets are to be changed into liveborn piglets, it is important to focus on management in early nursing. A new pre-farrowing feeding strategy is not enough.  


Farms with a strong focus on the management of newborn pigs will particularly benefit from the new feeding strategy as more live births will result in more weaned pigs per litter,” says Camilla Kaae Højgaard. 


An optimal feeding strategy must go hand in hand with good management in the early nursing period to ensure that more liveborn piglets result in more weaned piglets. You can get many more practical tips for the feeding of DanBred sows in our manual


The new feeding concept from SEGES’s Born2Live project
  • Do not need to reduce feed before farrowing
  • 3.3 – 3.8 kg feed per day* from the time of transfer until the end of farrowing (minimum 3 days before farrowing)
  • Beet pellets and fibre mix (mainly beet pellets and oat hulls) minimised the need for farrowing aid
 *Note: the added feed in the group that was studied contained different fibre sources, lower protein, and lysine content.


Read the full article on the trials on page 34-35 in the digital magasine Results 2022.



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