Comparing the benefits of Tonisity Px to milk replacer for piglets in the first week of life

April 19, 2022, 2:00 pm

• Tonisity Px reduces the pre-weaning mortality and ensures an extra pig per year per sow

• Tonisity Px improves the health of the piglets and increases the pre-weaning growth of piglets.

• Higher weaning weight results in higher growth and better feed efficiency in post-weaning and slaughter.

The weaning weight and the number of weaned pigs per sow are the most important economic factors in the farrowing pen and the prerequisite for a high number of weaned pigs is a high number of live-born pigs per litter. However, with an increasing number of live-born pigs, there is also a higher proportion of the litter with a birth weight of less than 1.3 kg. This lower birth weight is one of the main reasons for increased mortality and lower weaning weight.

In order to give all the piglets in the litter equal chances of survival, cross-fostering and nursing sows are important as the number of piglets now exceeds the number of available teats on the sows.

To further reduce mortality, farmers often supply milk substitutes from the day after birth until weaning. However, since the basis for the total amount of milk the sow produces throughout lactation is determined by the amount the piglets drink in the first week, supplying a milk replacer during this period may not be the optimal solution. The sow gives milk 24-30 times a day and when milk replacers are given to the piglets in the first week, some of the piglets may not feel hungry and skip some of the lactations.

This can cause some mammary glands to dry out meaning that necessary functional mammary glands are missing when all piglets, later in the lactation period, suckle at the same time. This will result in increased mortality and more variability in the weaning weight. Also, the lower milk yield will result in a higher consumption of milk replacer in the last part of the lactation period, which means higher costs. Danish studies recommend that only herds with a reasonably high milk yield should use milk replacers, as consumption will be at a very high level, even with a few piglets per litter.

Another important factor to consider is that it is essential for the piglets’ health and well-being that their stomach and the intestinal system works optimally. Piglets are born with a relatively undeveloped intestinal system that usually develops quickly right after birth. Studies have shown that the total surface area of the piglets’ small intestine doubled on day 10 and that the number of intestinal villi doubled in the first three days of life. Intestinal villi is the part of the piglets’ digestive system where the nutrients are absorbed and it is important for the piglets’ health and well-being that Intestinal villi function optimally.

Tonisity Px is an isotonic solution given to the piglets from the second to the eighth day of life, with a dosage of 500 ml once a day. This solution promotes the development of the enterocytes on the intestinal villi and gives the piglets improved intestinal health, making them more viable and active and stimulates the sow for optimal milk yield. 

Extensive test results in Europe, Asia, and the United States show that Tonisity Px has a positive influence on piglets’ mortality after the 2nd day of life. Typically the mortality is reduced by 20% leading to a higher number of live-born pigs in the litter.

Furthermore, studies shows that the reduced mortality gives approximately 1 pig more per year sow and that can potentially offer the farmer twice the cost of the product that was invested. This creates a return on investment of 2:1.  

In addition to reduced mortality, tests also show that pigs receiving Tonisity Px in the first week of life leads to a higher weight at weaning. This has been attributed to the fact that the sow’s total milk yield has been increased and that the piglets’ intestinal health has improved with the help of Tonisity Px.

Both Danish and other studies show that the piglets’ well-being and health before weaning is a significant factor in the piglets’ later growth and feed consumption, not only in the weaning pen but also later in the finisher pen. Also, Danish studies show that the growth performance before weaning has a greater impact on the growth in the finisher pen than the growth in the post-weaning phase. The conclusion is that the pig’s ability to efficently convert feed to growth, and maintain a high immunity, is already determined in the farrowing pen, before weaning.

Our recommendation is to give all litters in the farrowing pen 500 ml Tonisity Px from 2nd to 8th day once per day and then, from day 8, consider using a milk replacer if needed.

This will ensure lower mortality in the farrowing pen, higher weaning weight, and fewer days from weaning to slaughter.

Visit www.tonisity.com if you are interested in hearing more or ordering the product.

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