The goal is to obtain colostrum from the sows quickly and effectively. It involves administering long-acting oxytocin to sows that have started farrowing to milk them more easily.
In previous tricks shown in this section we have described the importance of helping the smaller piglets by providing them with colostrum after their birth. We have also discussed how to supply them with colostrum more quickly by using a tube. This trick supplements the two previous ones.
When farrowings are induced with prostaglandin and oxytocin, it is relatively easy, 24 hours later, to collect plenty of colostrum 15-20 minutes after administering the oxytocin, especially when we have several sows to choose from.
Nevertheless, and even in this situation, the colostrum collection needs time, and some of these sows are not easy to milk.
Nowadays, some laboratories have developed synthetic oxytocin derivatives with a longer action in the body. These long-acting oxytocins are very useful for milking sows, because the colostrum let-down becomes uninterrupted and plentiful.
The long-acting oxytocin can be administered to some sows in the batch once the farrowings have started. On other occasions it is administered to all the sows to induce the start of their farrowing.
This trick allows to increase the speed and to solve the problems we encounter when we wish to obtain colostrum and we have few sows farrowing and when they are not easy to milk.