Farmscape for May 11, 2018
The Manager Veterinary Services for western Canada with Zoetis says the quicker the new born piglet is able to receive its mother's first milk, the greater its ability to survive and thrive will be.
Colostrum, the sow's first mammary secretion, is produced for the first 24 hours after her first piglet is born.
Dr. Leanne Van De Weyer, the Manager of Veterinary Services for western Canada with Zoetis, says the amount and quality of colostrum the piglet is able to receive will depend on factors such as its birth weight or size, if it's chilled that will affect its ability to get to the udder to suckle and we have evidence that later born piglets in a large litter will receive later colostrum which is less rich in antibodies and growth factors.
Clip-Dr. Leanne Van De Weyer-Zoetis:
The piglet is completely dependant on colostrum for its immunity.
Antibodies and immune cells that are found in colostrum are the source of immunity for a piglet in the first weeks of life because a piglet is not born with antibodies or cell mediated immune cells.
It relies on the sow to provide those in colostrum until it can make its own and that process takes several weeks.
And the basic energy, the milk sugar and the fat found in colostrum is vital to support the pig's life and movement as it starts it life and it's also dependent on that colostrum for growth factors.
There is hormones that the sow has put into the colostrum that optimize the grow of vital organs in the piglet.
Dr. Van De Weyer says the concentration of antibodies in colostrum changes over 24 hours so the early colostrum will be richer in immune cells and growth factors so timing is critical.
And, she says, the piglet's gut can only accept the large antibody and growth factor molecules for a short time before it starts to close and become less able to absorb those molecules.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork