The life of a show pig isn’t always an easy one. Although producers and exhibitors go to great lengths to care for their animals, pigs go through a lot of transitions in their short life, and with each change, stress occurs.
Consider the fact that the average litter size is 10-12 pigs, the little piglet starts life in a competition for the only feed source, its mother’s milk. Then, it will be weaned and moved to a nursery, moved to a chip barn, sold and moved to a new home, and endure the stress of being exhibited multiple times in multiple venues. Show pigs are constantly facing changes, but these changes can be less stressful with proper nutrition and supplementation with a product like Vita Charge® Liquid Boost®.
Liquid Boost supports digestive health and promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery. The key ingredient in Liquid Boost is Amaferm®, a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed. It is research-proven to combat stress by supporting the animal’s own immune system, significantly increasing intake and nutrient utilization.
Weaning is perhaps the most stressful time in a young pig’s life. At three-weeks-old, the pig is removed from its mother, also known as its feed source, and put into a nursery where it is expected to learn to eat grain and drink water on its own. Adding Liquid Boost to the medicator will help the pigs adapt to their new surroundings while increasing their appetite. Liquid Boost will typically shave a few days off the normal amount of time it takes the piglets to start eating and drinking on their own. Producers usually keep the Liquid Boost in the water for at least one week to be sure their freshly weaned pigs are eating and don’t experience setbacks.
Just as the growing pigs are getting used to their surroundings in the nursery, it is time to move them to a chip barn or sale barn. Another transition means a new environment and a new diet to get accustomed to. About a week prior to moving them from the nursery, reintroduce Liquid Boost to their water, and continue them on it for about a week after they move into the chip barn or sale barn. The Amaferm advantage will help spark the pigs’ appetites as they make another transition, and help ensure they stay on feed and keep healthy.
Next to weaning, sale day and moving to their new home potentially adds the most stress to the pigs. They are leaving their home of origin, sometimes moving to a new state and climate, and will need to adapt to new barn-mates and feed and exercise regime. For a full week prior to the sale, be sure that Liquid Boost is in the water to keep them as healthy as possible prior to their big move. Once the pigs have sold and moved to their new homes it is important for their new owners to be informed of their current diet and the importance of Liquid Boost through the transition. The new owners should be encouraged to keep the pigs on as normal of a ration as possible and to continue to give them Liquid Boost until they are used to their new surroundings. One of the great things about Liquid Boost is its versatility – it can be administered through a medicator, simply added to water, mixed in with feed or top dressed. So, if the young exhibitor doesn’t have a medicator, there are still several ways to be sure that their new pig will stay healthy and keep eating with Liquid Boost.
Change is never easy. With the help of a versatile go-to product like Liquid Boost, transitions from weaning to the show ring will be less stressful for your next show pig project. Many exhibitors also keep Liquid Boost in the show box, to make sure their pigs keep eating and drinking when away at shows.