Sows and Piglets - Nutrition Interactions

Veterinarni Medicina 39, 1994, 117-132

Nutrition energy transfer from sows to piglets is unusually intensive in the suckling period. Due to this transfer, the sows increase their relative standard energy metabolism up to four times, that means to the boundary of the long-term sustainable maximum. They cannot cover these large energy outputs by feed intake, therefore they are catabolizing their own body tissues during suckling and lose about 15 % of their live weight. Through milk which is an energy-rich high-fat diet, up to 1.76 MJ/kg and day of energy (in the first week) are transferred to piglets, and/or up to 2.26 MJ/kg0.75 and day of energy (in the second week), which enables them to double their live weight at birth within the first 7 to 10 days. Milk transfer is of behavioral character in the system dam and litter. In a short time, it assumes a form of cyclic, collective synchronized suckling which is repeated more than twenty times a day and consists of several phases

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