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New sow feed to increase survival of sucking pigs

The chemical and feeds provider DLG is part of an unusual research project working to reduce the death rate of sucking pigs by developing a new feed concept for gestating sows.

DLG, SEGES and Copenhagen University are leading the research project Feed4Life, which will be working towards Danish pig sector’s targets for 2020, stating that one more pig per litter is to survive. The purpose of the project is to reduce mortality with sucking pigs by increasing their weight at birth and their vitality. The sow should have the right nutrients at the right time during the gestating, so that the piglets are not born underdeveloped. The target goal is also for the litters to be more uniform, says Hans Aar, manager of the research and development within DLG.

In addition to identifying potential nutrients securing an optimal development of the placenta, the project will also investigate when in the pregnancy the pigs become “uneven”. Hereafter feed products will be developed and tested.

Gains for environment and economy within the pig production

The project is unusual because most of the previous experiments have been concerned with the pigs after they are born. But is has been proven earlier, that the rate of survival is increased if the pigs are born stronger and more vital, and Feed4Life projects can therefore lead to very useful feed solutions. The project seeks to document, when in the pregnancy the embryo is underdeveloped and thereafter develop a feed concept for gestating sows, that can increase productivity. This will also help the environment as well as be profitable for pig producers in Denmark and abroad, says Hans Aae.

4.3 million DKK (577.724 Euro) has granted for the research project, which will be running until Summer 2021.

Source: DLG