The efficiency of lactation (including milk composition and milk yield) in the sow, and the environment of the piglet is taken into consideration in an attempt to maximise sow performance and improve piglet survival and growth. In many commercial intensive piggeries, the sow suckles up to 12 piglets for about three and a half weeks. During this time, the piglets' major source of nutrition is sows' milk, often supplemented with 'creep food' and electrolyte solutions. However, in some piggeries, there is a tendency towards early segregated weaning. Piglets are removed from the sow often in the second week of lactation, and placed in a new location and fed a diet modelled primarily on the composition of cows' milk. This type of artificial rearing may increase piglet performance by minimising death by infection, but it can reduce sow performance by compromising her return to oestrus.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 1999|