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The gestating and lactating sow



eISBN: 978-90-8686-803-2 | ISBN: 978-90-8686-253-5

Book Type: Edited Collection

The determination of successful farrowings includes components of maternal behaviour, duration of farrowing, piglet mortality and colostrum intake. Duration of farrowing can be used as a simple measure of whether or not a farrowing can be considered successful. We suggest a time limit of 300 minutes for a successful farrowing. In addition to its wellknown benefits, human intervention by means of exogenous hormones during parturition comprises risks which should be considered. Induction of farrowing by prostaglandin administration may lead to immature piglets being born with congenital complications. Over use/routine use of oxytocin may reduce placental blood flow and thereby expose fetuses remaining in the uterus to hypoxia. Pain management of the sow at farrowing is an issue of high importance for a successful beginning of lactation and whenever abnormal nursing behaviour is observed, pain should be considered as a potential cause. Feeding is considered the major factor for reproductive management of the hyperprolific sow around farrowing. New insights such as adding more fiber to sow diets during pregnancy, and especially during the period prior to farrowing, may prevent constipation, increase water intake of the sow around parturition and increase milk intake and performance of piglets. Use of modern technology in supervision of farrowings may decrease losses related to large litters. In breeding programs, new components of maternal characteristics, such as maternal behaviour, ease of parturition, colostrum production, and piglet quality parameters, may be utilized to further improve success rate of reproductive management during farrowing and early lactation.

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