Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 September 2010
The milk intake of two litters of suckling piglets was measured by the turnover of tritium-labelled body water. The estimated intakes of a litter of seven piglets agree with the current knowledge of milk yield from sows, which generally rises to a maximum at the 3rd week and then declines. With a litter of four, intake rose continuously from the 1st to the 6th week. Since piglets are often weaned at 3 weeks of age, this method has few disadvantages n i practical use. During the estimation of water turnover the total body water of individual piglets can also be obtained so that information on body composition (solids, protein, fat and ash) can be derived. The efficiency of conversion of milk by piglets can thus be calculated.
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