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A Piglet's First Days

7 Nov 2014
Animal Nutrition

Why are a piglet's first days of life so important? What role does nutrition play in their survival and development? 

Vicenç Novell- owner La Valleta Farm (Lerida, Spain)

The life of a piglet is very similar to that of a child but the speed is I don't know how many times greater. When a piglet is born it has 12 vital hours, which is the moment of colostrum intake, when the piglet receives the mother's defences and its future is practically 80% dependent on this time. From approximately the 10th day, piglets begin to have their first contact with solid feed. And it's on the 24th day when piglets are really put to the test because they are taken from their mother and begin to depend solely on solid feed.

This solid feed has to continue strengthening their immunity at the intestinal level, and as such it has to have the highest quality and the best digestibility possible.

One week until they begin their life's journey alone!

The next phase after lactation is weaning: Here the piglets are weaned in a large hall where all the week's piglets go. When one goes to eat normally it brings along several others and this helps any animal which has not yet tried solid food to do so for the first time by following others.

Here the piglets eat the same feed that they ate with their mother for three days so that as of the third day they can be given another type more adapted to their growth stage. And after three weeks the food is changed again. The feed always is adapted to their growth stage. The goal of the first stage feed is to make the piglets mature together with intestinal growth without causing any illness which could come from the type of feed they eat.

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