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Early detection of inadequate milk production (hypogalactia)

Which risk-factors are responsible for hypogalactia in the sow and what are the early signs?


Figure 1 Image


Signs in the sow Signs in the piglet
  • Constipation
  • Sowis in prone positions, hiding the udder segments
  • Hypersensitive udder
  • Raised body-temperature
  • Full troughs
  • Hyperactive Piglets
  • Empty bellies
  • Low weaning weights
  • Fighting (social ranking)
  • Increased piglet crushing


Preventing hypogalactia

The first signs of hypogalactia are often very subtle and are therefore difficult to recognize. It is therefore essential to employ a strategy to prevent its development.

  • Minimise the difference in feed composition between the sow’s gestation and lactation feed

  • Ensure that farrowing pens are dry, clean and disinfected

  • Check flow-rate of water-nipples (min. 3 ltrs/min)

  • Regularly remove faecal material from the farrowing pen

  • Provide enough space to permit freedom of movement of the sow and the piglets

  • Ensure that floors are not slippery and sows are able to stand up

  • Monitor sufficient feed-intake


When hard faeces and/or signs of mastitis/metritis are recognized, immediate action must be taken:

  • Monitor rectal temperature (normal: < 39.3°C)

  • Apply a broad spectrum anti-inflammatory drug

  • Additional therapeutic measures in consultation with farm vet