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Estimation of colostrum intake in the neonatal pig

  • N. Devillers (a1), J. van Milgen (a1), A. Prunier (a1) and J. Le Dividich (a1)

Abstract

Three trials were performed in order to establish a method of estimation of colostrum intake based on weight gain in newborn pigs. The first trial involved 33 piglets, bottle-fed with sow colostrum and weighed regularly for 25 h. A regression equation relating colostrum intake (CI in g) to birth weight (BWB in kg), weight at CI estimation (BW in kg), age at first suck (tFS in min) and duration of colostrum intake (t in min and with 17 h < t < 25 h) was established with a root mean-square error equal to 33 g. This equation was evaluated with a second data set using 15 further bottle-fed piglets (trial 2). Measured and predicted values were very close (R2 = 0.90). The third trial compared colostrum intake estimated either with the previous equation or with the deuterium oxide dilution method in catheterized sow-reared or bottle-fed piglets (no. = 12 per group). The equation underestimated colostrum intake of those piglets, probably due to prior surgery. However, the feeding method (bottle-feeding v. sow-rearing) had no effect on the relationship between weight gain and colostrum intake. Therefore, the equation established in bottle-fed piglets may be applied to sow-reared piglets.

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Keywords

Estimation of colostrum intake in the neonatal pig

  • N. Devillers (a1), J. van Milgen (a1), A. Prunier (a1) and J. Le Dividich (a1)

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