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The Colostrum Conundrum - Can sows feed their bigger litters?

Sows have more piglets these days, but are they able to feed them all properly? The key is colostrum, the first food for piglets, crucial for their survival and growth. 

Two decades ago, things were simpler. There were fewer piglets, so they probably got more colostrum. But with today's larger litter, each piglet might get a smaller share. 

Now, to tackle this, some folks had a bright idea: increase the number of functional teats on sows. More teats should mean more colostrum. It’s a great plan, but there's a twist. Piglets are increasing in number faster than the teats. 

How can we boost colostrum production then? 

One option is to keep increasing the teat count. But we might end up with longer sows, which could be a squeeze in their current stalls. 

Piglets with more colostrum grow up faster. But selecting sows based on this is a bit challenging. 

Also, focusing on weaning weight could be the way to go. Heavier weight at weaning suggests healthier piglets, which means they probably got enough colostrum. Some experts are urging more attention here. 

It's clear: for more thriving piglets, they need enough colostrum. This calls for teamwork—from genetics experts to those in nutrition—to ensure every piglet gets its fair share. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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A MODERN AMERICAN PIG FARM - What's a contract grower?

Video: A MODERN AMERICAN PIG FARM - What's a contract grower?

Pig farming or pork farming or hog farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs as livestock, and is a branch of animal husbandry. Pigs are farmed principally for food (e.g. pork: bacon, ham, gammon) and skins.

Today, there are more than 60,000 pig farms in the United States. They include a variety of farm sizes and types, and they raise pork to meet a wide variety of consumer demands. There are different approaches to raising pigs, including: small-scale farms, large-scale farms and those whose pig raising practices serve niche markets, such as consumers who want pork raised with outdoor access or heirloom breeds (such as Berkshire pork).

A 250 pound market hog yields about 150 pounds of pork. In addition to pork, several valuable products come from swine. These include insulin for the regulation of diabetes, valves for human heart surgery, suede for shoes and clothing, and gelatin for foods and non-food uses.