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- Prevention Works
- Udder development and colostrum production starts during late gestation but before the birth process has started.
- The amount of colostrum that is produced depends on genetic and hormonal factors as well as body condition. The intrinsic quality of colostrum is also influenced by stress.
- Correct water and feed supply to the sow in the last third of gestation is essential for optimal colostrum production.
- Modern genetic maternal lines usually produce more colostrum than traditional breeds/strains:
- Irrespective of the number of pigs produced
- but still with considerable variation between sows
Consequences of the milk gap
- Optimal growth rate follows sufficient colostrum-intake.
- Milk gap, often no growth at all. Strong piglets with sufficient glycogen reserves are privileged.
- Normal lactation milk is produced from around 32 hours after the birth of the first piglet. It is vitally important to foster excess piglets.
►Be aware of the impact of disturbing suckling piglets by interventions in the early life-phase.