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Peter Kappel Theil

Factors influencing colostrum consumption by piglets and their relationship with survival and growth in tropical climates

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  • Morakot Nuntapaitoon, Chulalongkorn University
  • ,
  • Ramon Muns, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast
  • ,
  • Peter Kappel Theil
  • Padet Tummaruk, Chulalongkorn University

Inadequate colostrum consumption increases preweaning mortality and reduces body weight gain. The aim of the present study was to determine which factors influence piglet colostrum consumption and to study their relationship with the piglet survival and growth in tropical climates. At birth, 1018 piglets from 1 to 7 parity sows were monitored for heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, blood glucose concentration, birth order, birth interval, sex, standing time, integrity of the umbilical cord and rectal temperature 24 h after birth (RT24h). Piglets were weighed at birth and postnatal days 1 and 21. The mortality rate of piglets was determined on day 21 of lactation. On average, individual colostrum consumption was 426 g. Litters with less than 12 piglets born alive, a low birth weight (BWB), birth order greater than 9 or standing time greater than 5 min had significantly lower colostrum consumption (P < 0.001) compared to those with a greater number of piglets born alive, higher BWB and shorter standing time. Sows with a low litter birth weight had low colostrum yield (P < 0.001). High mortality at postnatal day 21 was found for piglets with colostrum consumption less than 400 g and RT24h less than 38.5 °C (P < 0.05). Moreover, piglets with colostrum consumption less than 400 g and low BWB had reduced average daily weight gain (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the number of piglets born alive, BWB, RT24h, birth order and standing time influenced piglet colostrum consumption, with litter birth weight representing the most influential factor for colostrum yield in a tropical climate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLivestock Science
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Average daily weight gain, Colostrum, Newborn traits, Piglet mortality

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