By Nikky Necessario

Taking care of your piglets from birth until weaning age is important. A well-maintained pig farm will produce good quality meat that will satisfy its customers. Also, healthy pigs means healthy profits.

Livability is the number of piglets that a sow can raise until their weaning stage. There are several problems that can occur during this stage, such as a high stillborn rate and pre-wean mortality. To avoid these and other problems that may arise after gestation, here are some important factors to consider about piglet livability solutions, as shared by Dr. Glen B. Banogon, a veterinarian from Cargill Philippines, Inc., during the 28th National Hog Convention at the SMX Convention Center:

First is access to good on-farm support. A farmer must ensure proper gilt maturity to avoid stillborn deaths. Issues during gestation such as feeding the sow adequately for good milk production should be properly addressed. When the piglets are born, it is important to make sure that they’re comfortable to avoid stress, and to protect them, especially from cold, which is a common cause of mortality. Dr. Banogon compared piglets to babies, which need proper nutrition and care to grow well.

The next thing to consider is sow nutrition. Sows must be fed highly-nutritional feed to ensure good colostrum. Colostrum intake is vital to a piglet because it contains different nutrients that would boost their survival. A sow must not be starved before it gives birth because the mother will need extra energy for the birth. A healthy sow will also decrease the mortality rate of her piglets, said Dr. Banogon. Feed and water intake should be monitored, particularly during the lactation period. But then, piglets should also be trained to eat solids as soon as possible. The sow must be well taken care of for future productive parity.

Lastly, provide piglets and sows with boosters and vitamins via additive solutions. Vitamins can be expensive, but is actually more cost-effective in the long run because it makes your pigs insusceptible to diseases, and even early death.

Better preparation and management are important to improving productivity in the reproductive performance of sows. After all, healthy pigs mean healthy profits.