Time spent in the farrowing house and nursery can be stressful, time consuming and keep you up at night – literally. There are so many variables on the line that are dependent on the make or break of each litter. Ultimately, success in the farrowing house usually comes down to the sow. The driving factor behind weaning healthy, big litters depends on her ability to do her job in the crate. Following the crate, the weaning process is the most stressful time in a pig’s life. Efficiency and health of weaned pigs can certainly push the break-even line in either direction. For us, we feel confident in using a protocol to aid in these times of stress and maximize efficiency, consumption and overall health in a three-step process.
LEADING UP TO THE CRATE – (Gestation & Lactation)
1.) Add Digest More to your sow ration for the gestation and lactation period for your sows. (If you’re not setup to mix Digest More in your sow ration, it may also be used as a top dress). Digest More is a pelleted form of Amaferm that increases digestibility and maximizes the energy value of feed, leading to an increase in lactation in the crate.
IN THE CRATE (Farrowing)
2.) Use Vita Charge® Gel once daily, three consecutive days prior to farrowing, and continue daily after farrowing until your sows appetite and consumption has returned to normal. Vita Charge® Gel is a great tool to use during the stress of farrowing to increase a sows energy and decrease the turnaround time it takes her to get back on feed after giving birth. (Still continue to add using as a top dress or a feed that contains Digest More through the entire lactation period).
AFTER THE CRATE (Weaning)
3.) Between days 18-21 when weaning day will occur, administer Vita Charge® Liquid Boost through the nursery medicator. Vita Charge Liquid Boost will help decrease the “turnaround time” it takes to get baby pigs on feed and through the stress of weaning. Run Liquid Boost for the first 4-5 days weaned, then allow pigs to return to fresh water. (This same process can be applied when moving pigs from the nursery decks to the chip barn pens.) **Liquid Boost is medicator compatible and water soluble medications can be run simultaneously with Liquid Boost.