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Piglet Factors That Affect Colostrum Intake and Nursing Pig Outcomes, By Marie Blais from Southwest Ontario Veterinary Service

The newborn piglet is very dependent on adequate colostrum intake (CI) as a source of passive immunity including antibodies and white blood cells. Colostrum is also an important source of nutrition that helps to maintain body temperature. The amount of CI can differ between piglets within the litters of hyperprolific sows. These Danish researchers wanted to study the impact of individual piglet characteristics such as birth weight, birth order and neonatal asphyxia (measured via blood lactate) at birth on CI. They wanted to further determine the relationship between the CI and the passive immunity transfer (IgA IgG, IgM) and the growth performance of piglets prior to weaning. The study was carried out on twenty-four Danbred sows of the second-parity and their progeny (n = 460) were used. Piglet weight gain and the duration of colostrum suckling of the piglets was also assessed.

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