The size of litters continues to increase in pig production, with 18 or more live-born piglets no longer being a rarity today. Sows giving birth to such large litters must be healthy and strong, since supplying all piglets with sufficient amounts of milk is very strenuous for the mother. Despite best attempts, not every sow will have enough milk for all her offspring, resulting in losses or strongly varying weaning weights. Sows may also experience exhaustion, which has negative effects on their fertility after weaning.
Sow managers know how difficult handling large litters can be. In the past, piglets from such litters were crossfostered, or placed with nurse sows. However, these options are not always the best solution. As successful alternatives, Big Dutchman can now offer two feeding systems for suckling pigs in the farrowing pen:
Both Culina systems help you to supply piglets in the farrowing pen with milk replacers and liquid prestarters, fully- or semi-automatically and continuously. Especially the smaller and thus weaker piglets will benefit from this additional food source.
Semi-automatic supplementary feeding of milk and prestarters
The CulinaCup system uses small cups which have a nipple in the centre. When a piglet plays with this nipple, feed flows into the cup at a temperature of approx. 30°C. The piglets can easily ingest this feed.
- significantly less work and time required;
- no nurse sows necessary, i.e. more productive farrowing places;
- fresh and warm feed (milk) is constantly available to all piglets;
- only small amounts are offered so the dispensed feed is always fresh.
Automatic supplementary feeding of milk and prestarters with feed valves
CulinaFlexpro is an automatic system which dispenses feed time-controlled through a feed valve. A sensor in the trough determines whether the trough is empty or whether feed is still available for the piglets.
Advantages for the sow
- less exhaustion from nursing and better condition;
- improved fertility after weaning;
- less weight loss;
- no stress during the suckling period;
- healthier sows which remain productive for a longer time, i.e. they can carry more litters.
Advantages for the suckling pig
- higher weights of up to one kilogram per piglet at weaning;
- more piglets weaned per sow;
- less variation in weaning weights, i.e. litters are more even and piglets weigh more;
- considerably fewer losses;
- more high-quality piglets, less runts;
- easier start in the flat deck.
Advantages for the sow manager
- higher rearing performance in the farrowing house;
- compliance with high hygiene standards;
- no cross-fostering required;
- less work due to an automatic system;
- feed is available 24 hours a day, if necessary;
- no nurse sows required.
May 2019 - Big Dutchman