Photo: Mark Agnor
Photo: Mark Agnor

Securing a piglet’s environment and welfare

Wisium Partner profile
15-07 | |
Photo: Mark Agnor
Photo: Mark Agnor

The increase of sows’ prolificacy has received more attention over the past few years. Objectives related to piglets’ viability in the pre-weaning phase are becoming critical. To face this challenge, Wisium has used its expertise in litter management to develop a unique solution: Purlite.

Lighter piglets are more sensitive and show higher mortality levels. To improve sustainability, it is critical to manage neonates which includes ensuring their colostrum intake and keeping the environment favourable for both sows and piglets. There are long-term benefits to get when risks are well managed at the start.

Use of litter conditioner

As part of the solution to help ensure piglet vitality and to support them in the challenging stages, litter conditioners are commonly used. In this context, Wisium has developed Purlite, a powdered blend of vegetal and mineral raw materials with absorbent, cleaning and non-irritating properties. It has powerful drying and binding effects, and, due to its plant-based aromas, it also has been shown to leave a pleasant smell for the operators. The product plays a major role in environmental management of animals and their litters. The litter conditioner is linked with critical moments for neonates and can be directly applied on the piglet straight after birth. This helps dry the piglet, thus warming it. As a direct result of the drying, warming and hygiene effect, piglets are supported with the right conditions to have quick access to the colostrum, resulting in higher chances of survival. Use of a litter conditioner has also been shown to relate to faster healing of a piglet’s umbilical cord.

Results in field conditions

To demonstrate the effect of a litter conditioner on piglets, a trial was carried out in France on three sow batches and their piglets (23 sows and 336 piglets) during the period from birth to weaning (0–28 days). The sow breed was Large White x Landrace, and the boar semen was from Large White x ­Pietrain.

Various measurements were taken:

  • Piglets were weighed at birth, 24 and 48 hours after birth and at weaning.

  • Piglet rectal body temperature was taken at birth and at 1 and 24 hours after birth.

  • Sanitary status and mortality were assessed.

Table 1 shows that a positive result was observed for the Purlite group in terms of mortality rate and numbers of crushed piglets; the mortality rate showed a significant decrease when the litter conditioner was used. Piglets treated with Purlite lost less rectal temperature than the control group 1 hour after birth.
In the trial shown in Table 2, it was observed that the litter conditioner makes a significant impact on mortality levels in average weight piglets as well as in lighter piglets. For the lighter piglets, there is a remarkable reduction on pre-weaning ­mortality (reduction from 51.72% to 16.67%).

Reducing pathogenic pressure in the farrowing barn

In other studies using the litter conditioner, improvements in sanitary conditions for both sows and piglets can be seen. Purlite supports a safer environment for the piglets, decreasing the bacteria load and allowing faster healing of the umbilical cord. Good farm management and control of bacterial pressure are crucial to keep animals safe.

Hygiene on-farm

A safe environment and good welfare remain key challenges in swine production. Purlite helps to secure the environment for sows and piglets and improve animal welfare, and it helps full expression of the genetic potential with remarkably easy implementation.

For more information about this article, contact Melanie Cannavo (melanie.cannavo@adm.com) and Laurence Coubrun (laurence.coubrun@wisium.com).

Wisium Partner profile

Wisium, ADM’s global premix activity, has been a major player in the animal nutrition industry for over 60 years. Partnering with customers and industry experts, Wisium provides millers, integrators, and home mixers services, solutions, and products, targeting enhanced quality, performance, productivity and profitability. Wisium experts deliver tailor-made solutions, combining high quality products and value-added services for a variety of species’ nutritional needs . Our expertise is based on a global market experience and a strong international network. Wisium’s experts are able to offer customized advices on all nutrition aspects, including formulation, raw materials, ingredients and final feed quality control. Our field teams can support you to better guarantee optimal farm performance, as well as animal health and welfare. As a world-class team, Wisium provides customers the ability to stay ahead of the competition.

Wisium Partner profile

Wisium, ADM’s global premix activity, has been a major player in the animal nutrition industry for over 60 years. Partnering with customers and industry experts, Wisium provides millers, integrators, and home mixers services, solutions, and products, targeting enhanced quality, performance, productivity and profitability. Wisium experts deliver tailor-made solutions, combining high quality products and value-added services for a variety of species’ nutritional needs . Our expertise is based on a global market experience and a strong international network. Wisium’s experts are able to offer customized advices on all nutrition aspects, including formulation, raw materials, ingredients and final feed quality control. Our field teams can support you to better guarantee optimal farm performance, as well as animal health and welfare. As a world-class team, Wisium provides customers the ability to stay ahead of the competition.

Beheer