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News 222 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Gestation feed affects mortality rate piglets

Feeding a high fat diet during the first half of the gestation period and a diet high in starch and fat in the second half of the gestation period reduces the mortality rate in piglets, according to research done by Schothorst Feed Research in Lelystad, the Netherlands.

The Dutch research showed that the diet influences the mortality rate among newborn piglets, especially in litters over 12 piglets born alive. By feeding the gestation sows a different diet in the last period compared to the one in the first period of gestation, the sows showed a more efficient glucose metabolism and showed a faster reduction of the blood levels of glucose, which subsequently increases the piglet survival.

Larger litters
The reduction in mortality among the smaller piglets in large litters is encouraging news, according to the researchers. Because the litters in modern pig farming are getting larger, we now have a tool to prevent the extra piglets from dying after birth.

Related website:
Schothorst Feed Research

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