New field trial results indicate that Nutriforte Ca/P can increase the milk yield of the sow in the first week after farrowing. In cooperation with ‘De Heus Animal Nutrition’ a milk scan is performed to get insights in the milk yield of the sow.
Nutriforte Ca/P is a product which is suitable for drinking application for sows and based on the combination of calcium, phosphorus, choline, magnesium and sodium with organic acids. The supplementation of organic minerals and organic acids in drinking water up can be applied to three days before farrowing and three days after. Shortly before the farrowing process, there is a drop in feed intake whereas the water intake increases. The minerals supplied via the drinking water can be stored in the bones and used during the farrowing process, resulting in a smaller deficit in calcium peri- and post farrowing phase. In addition, magnesium results in an increased uptake of calcium and phosphorus. Sufficient calcium supply is essential for a smooth farrowing process and sufficient milk yield. This is because calcium and other organic minerals are involved in the contraction of uterine smooth muscles and in the contraction of the muscles in the udder for milk production.
Field trial setup
The trial farm, located in the Netherlands, is using a 4-week system with 100 sows per group and in total five groups, settled in a group housing system with liquid feed.
Half of one group of sows (50 sows) were supplemented for three days before farrowing and three days after farrowing with Nutriforte Ca/P via the drinking water. The other half (50 sows) received no drinking supplement. Subsequently all piglets were weighted at litter level at an age about two to three days of age. The weight of the litters were corrected for parity and day of birth to estimate the birth weight per litter at day 0 of life and weight at 7 days of life.
During the first week of life, the test group showed a piglet weight gain of 97% compared to 86% in the control group. The corrected litter weight gain 0-7 days was respectively 17.29kg and 15.05kg for the test group and control group (Figure 1).
The litters in the test group have a better uniformity compared to the control group and a higher litter growth of 14.9%.
The results of the test group and control group were compared to the results of a group of nationwide average farms in the Netherlands over the period 2016/2017 and the 25% best farms in litter growth (Figure 2). The control group has a corrected litter growth in the first week of life below the reference average, while the test group has a higher litter growth which is even higher than the 25% best farms in litter growth.
The milk yield of the sow is expressed in growth rate of the piglets. This growth rate is higher in the test group. Nutriforte Ca/P support the milk yield of the sow, resulting in increased growth of piglets. This effect can be attributed to the dietary supplementation of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and organic acids. The minerals support the calcium metabolism, which is involved in processes of farrowing and milk yield.
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