Recently there has been a lot of attention for the claw health of sows in Europe. This is due to the upcoming European welfare regulation. This regulation states that gestating sows have to be housed in groups. Group housing can be very hard on the legs and claws of the sows. In the Netherlands there are a lot of initiatives to demonstrate the effect of sows with claw problems. Kanters has developed a solution to assist sows with claw problems.
Importance of feed
Feed is one of the factors that is important for the claws of the sow. When we focus on the feed, some nutrients are of importance for the claws. These nutrients are:
– Vitamins; mainly Biotin and vitamin D
– Minerals; mainly calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and manganese
– Amino acid; mainly methionine.
All of these nutrients need to be available for the sow in sufficient quantities.
How does the problem start
Around farrowing the demand for calcium and phosphorus is very high, which is caused by the milk production of the sow. This high demand leads to mobilisation of calcium and phosphorus from the bones. When there is not enough calcium and phosphorus stored in the bones issues of weaker bones, more difficulty in birth of piglets and weak claws can be expected.
Stored calcium in the bones is important. To realize a stock of calcium and phosphorus in the bones it is advisable to add an easy digestible source of these elements. Furthermore, there are indications that acidifying the drinking water facilitates a better availability of calcium. In addition, copper and zinc chelate are advisable, due to their better absorbability and their positive effect on the claws of the sow.
In general all these nutrients are present in the feed. The problem arises in the feed intake around farrowing. In this period the nutrient demand is high, but the feed intake, and thereby nutrient intake, can be compromised. Consequently, the sow does do not get the required vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as shown in the image below. During the period around farrowing the water intake is high, therefore it is advisable to put these nutrients in the drinking water. Kanters has several products that can be added to the drinking water to support sows with claw problems.
How Kanters can support your sows?
Kanters has the following products that can support sows with problems:
– Kanters Acid Ca/P, a combination of calcium, phosphorus and organic acids
– Pro-Mac, a product rich in glucose, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids
– Nutriforte, a liquid feed supplement based on organic acids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.