Helping weak suckling pigs to get a head start in life

Energy paste proves its effectiveness

AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG has been selling special supplement feeds for a long time under the brand name Miravit, which is established and well-known amongst farmers. Dr Peter Rösmann, Miravit Pig Product Manager, explains the benefits of the new energy paste Miravit Pig LifeStart.

Why has AGRAVIS developed an energy paste for weak piglets?
Dr Rösmann: The number of piglets born alive per litter and per sow has continuously increased over the years. Suckling piglets that have a high number of siblings are generally born at a lighter weight.

Investigations have shown us that the lightest piglets in a litter show inadequate colostrum absorption and the risk of losing suckling piglets increases due to this. This concept can be explained alongside battles for dominance in suckling by means of an inadequate energy store directly after birth for the lightest piglets. These animals simply do not have the energy to absorb the essential colostrum in sufficient quantities from the sow's teats. In addition, the colostrum and concentration of immunoglobulins begin to deteriorate in quality after only a few hours. Miravit Pig LifeStart helps piglets to absorb the necessary quantity of colostrum (approximately 250 grams) from the sow as quickly as possible, therefore giving such animals a helping hand.

Has Miravit Pig LifeStart been tested in practice?
Dr Rösmann: Yes, independent tests have shown that we can support suckling piglets with a dose of 2 millilitres from a 100 millilitre bottle of Miravit Pig LifeStart in terms of closing their energy gap. This energy boost helps them to absorb mother's milk in sufficient quantity and quality.

What does this mean, in detail?
Dr Rösmann: Compared to animals in the control group, suckling piglets given Miravit Pig LifeStart showed 8 per cent greater body weight after the first 48 hours of life, then were 3.8 per cent heavier with regard to their weaning weight. Whilst the animals in the control group achieved daily weight gains of 120 grams during the observation period of 48 hours after birth, the tested animals achieved gains of approximately 138 grams per day. This represents an increase of 14.8 per cent and clearly testifies to the benefits of using Miravit Pig LifeStart. At the same time, thanks to the use of the energy paste, the loss of piglets was reduced by 2.8 per cent on average. These results are evidence that the special composition of this readily available energy paste can be beneficial.

How is the product used?
Dr Rösmann: Generally, all piglets in a littler are provided with a dose from the dosage bottle. In my opinion, however, the weaker piglets in a litter, in particular, should receive a dose of Miravit Pig LifeStart. The paste is directly applied to the rear of the tongue. Very weak suckling piglets can be given a second dose after a day has passed. It is recommended that the dosage tube is cleaned after every litter and that the bottle is closed after use.

Questions regarding this topic are answered by Dr Peter Rösmann, Tel. 0251 682-2262, and your AGRAVIS product consultant on site.