FARROWING AND LACTATION MANAGEMENT
Farrowing is a term specific to swine that refers to the action of giving birth. Farrowing management begins months before piglets are born. The breeding date will determine farrowing date. While Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young. In healthy pigs, the process occur in post-pregnancy.
It is the responsibility of the farmer to adhere to the following:
1. FARROWING MANAGEMENT
• Deworm all pregnant animals two weeks prior to farrowing
• Wash down the animals especially the udder a week to farrowing to prevent any possible worm or other pathogenic organisms on to the baby pig when they are born.
• Half of the daily ration must consist of bran as from two weeks prior to farrowing and should continue one week after farrowing. Alternatively, feed a ration containing 10-12% wheat bran or 6.7-9.0kg of magnesium sulphide or KCl per tonne( the essence is to prevent constipation).
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• Pig attendant should be present at the time of farrowing to prevent injury or crushing of piglets (Overlying) which is the greatest cause of mortality besides still birth
• Farrowing crates measuring 2.4-1.7m should be provided to prevent laying on the piglets by the Dam
• The sow should be placed on full feeds 7-10days following farrowing. The rule of thumb is to feed the lactating sow with 2.7kg feed daily and 0.2kg feed per piglet.
• The sow should receive upward of 4.5-6.4kg of feed per day
• Feed should be withheld from the sow in the first day of farrowing to avoid possible udder congestion. As an extra insurance, high antibiotics level (100-200g/ton of feed) or furazolidone (150g/feed) should be fed 1week parallel to farrowing to prevent lactation problems such as mastitis, metritis, agalactia syndrome (MMA syndrome) or bacterial scours.
• Lactation ration should be 15%cp, 0.7-0.8%phosphorus, 0.7-0.9%calcium
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• Appearance of milk in the udder and nesting behavior starts from 12-14hrs prior to farrowing
• Increased breathing rate (30-50breath/min) for 4-5hrs prior to farrowing
• A clear mucus discharge from the vulva maybe seen 1-4hrs prior to farrowing.
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When all these (above 3signs )are set, the first piglets should appear within 15-20mins on the onset of labour.