An eye on hygiene
Hygienic feeding management is of utmost importance in the farrowing unit. If the sows have not emptied the troughs after each feeding, the troughs must be cleaned. Leftover feed provides the perfect conditions for unwanted bacterial growth, which can lead to sickness. Farmers may then skip a feeding to ensure the sows have regained their appetite for the next one. Uneaten feed may also be a sign that a sow is ill and needs treatment.
Daily checks of the water supply are equally important. A lactating sow needs approximately 35 to 50 litres of water a day to ensure sufficient milk production. To facilitate this, the drinking nipple must be able to release four litres a minute.
A well-balanced feed is, of course, the foundation of success. Soluble and insoluble fibres are important to maintain gut health, and all needs for protein, vitamins and micro-minerals must be met in full. Follow the standard recommendation in table 1, and you’re off to a promising start.