Following five years in research and development, agri technology specialists Devenish has launched ColfaPig, a mix of encapsulated short and medium chain fatty acids, that has shown numerous benefits on colostrum quality in sows and subsequent piglet performance.
Maximising piglet potential is paramount, with producers across the globe now seeing larger, lighter litters. Research has shown that ColfaPig delivers a 500g increase in piglet weaning weight, stretching to 800g by 10 weeks of age. This extra weight has led to an increase in piglet viability of five per cent, or half a pig per sow.
There is significant research that shows the higher the colostrum intake, the lower the mortality level and the higher the weight gain, therefore maximising colostrum quality is fundamental to maximising lifetime performance.
Dr Joanna Keenan, Pig Research Officer at Devenish, commented: “Analysis of the colostrum of sows fed ColfaPig showed an 11 per cent increase in IgG, 16 per cent in IgA and 29 per cent increase in IgM over the control.
“As immunoglobulins are vital components of the immune system, these higher levels reflect an improved immunological status of the piglets.
“Additionally, colostrum proteomics res-earch, which tracks changes in proteins, showed immunoglobulin J chain increased, allowing IgA and IgM to be secreted into the mucosa to carry out their protective role. At four weeks, the IgG in the blood was increased by 19 per cent over control,” added Dr Keenan.
Fat levels were increased by 30 per cent in the colostrum from sows fed ColfaPig. Proteomics showed that this was due to a decrease in milk fat globule membrane proteins. These proteins break the membrane and reduce the amount of fat in milk.
As milk fat globule membrane proteins were decreased, the colostrum was fattier than normal, with the benefits of extra energy being passed to the piglet.
“We see ColfaPig as an extension of our early feeding regime,” continued Dr Keenan. “The increased weaning weight will be coupled with improved performance from our high quality range of piglet feeds.
“We are confident ColfaPig will have a significant impact on piglet performance, and ultimately producer profitability,” Dr Keenan said.