An adequate intake of colostrum by the newborn piglet allows the piglet to acquire passive immunity and develop active immunity. Many studies have looked at the uptake of IgG by piglets in artificial situations rather than by natural suckling. Therefore we investigated the uptake of IgG by piglets whilst suckling naturally and estimated the time of gut closure.
A total of 8 multiparous sows (Newsham - Large White x Landrace) were induced to farrow on day 114 of gestation. Colostrum/milk was sampled, using oxytocin where necessary, at 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24h and 2, 5 and 7 days after farrowing. Female piglets (average 3 per litter) were fitted with umbilical catheters to allow blood sampling at 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 and 48h; samples were taken at 5 and 7 days of age by venepuncture.