A large pork producer in West Jutland, Denmark reported more piglets weaned, a better growth and lower post-weaning mortality after having used plasma in piglet feed.
Arne Nexø Sinkbæk, located in Bækmarksbro, Denmark, produces 15,000 piglets per year and sold 31.7 piglets per sow per year in 2011. His farm was used as a test location for APC Europe, a producers of spray dried blood plasma. An article about it previously appeared in the Danish magazine Effektivt Landbrug
Sinkbæk said, “We started to use plasma for the weaned piglets last spring. At that time the mortality from weaning to 30 kg was about 2%. Now we are down to a 0.5%. We also see that the smallest piglets perform much better when there is plasma in the feed.”
Sinkbæk continued, “The last month we have also used plasma in lactating sow feed. The latest survey shows that we wean on average 11.5 piglets per litter and that is over half a piglet more than before we started to use plasma. At the same time the piglets weight gain is in average 500 g better.”
He has been using feed from Danish compound feed producer Vestjyllands Andel, who added the plasma to the feed.
Torben Jensen, product manager, Vestjyllands Andel, said, “Some of his sows gave to little milk after farrowing, but their milk production rose immediately when we started to use plasma for them.”
He added, “The sows are given plasma as a top dressing when they are moved to the farrowing pen and that way they have lactation feed with 0.5% plasma in. We have seen similar results in another herd.”
“We are talking about a herd that wean 31-35 piglets per sow per year. […] Use of plasma for piglets has been based on the fact that we have to give the smallest piglets a better start after weaning,” said Jensen.
Balances stressed sows immune system
Henrik Meldahl, APC Europe, Denmark, said not all reasons are known why in-feed plasma has a positive influence on sows and piglets.
He said that the current line of thought is that “plasma balances the sows immune system, so that we don’t see the same stress reactions with diarrhoea and bad growth with the piglets, that else is often seen.”