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Cargill focused on lowering number of stillborn piglets

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Jevtic
© GettyImages/Jevtic

Related tags stillborn piglets sow mortality

This month sees Cargill launch a sow feed product in the UK, following mainland European market entry last year.

When added to transition and lactating-sow diets, LivaPig reduces the number of stillborn piglets, reported the manufacturer.  

uk trial results livapig cargill
LivaPig: UK trial results © Cargill

In European countries, sow productivity is increasing, resulting in larger litters. That development is correlated to a higher number of stillborn piglets and an increased pre-weaning mortality leading to a decreased piglet livability. In addition to the financial impact due to the lower survival rate, it is also an animal welfare issue, said Cargill.

It said its LivaPig product, which is added to sow diets on farm or included in such diets by compounders, boosts piglet livability by increasing the blood flow and, therefore, oxygen and nutrient supply to the reproductive tissue and to the piglets in utero.

Join us in Amsterdam for Young Animal Nutrition (YAN20)​ on 3-4 March where we will discuss piglet nutrition in detail.  

The product is a blend of ingredients that uses the agribusiness giant’s patented nitric oxide boosting technology, called Proxymum. Nitric oxide is naturally present in blood, and promotes better blood, nutrient and oxygen flow. It is commonly used in food supplements to support performance, said Cargill.

LivaPig also includes plant-based extracts and the antioxidant, Proviox, as well as specific enzymes to boost nutrient digestion, said a Cargill representative. 

pre weaning mortality
Most recent European trial results on LivaPig in relation to pre-weaning mortalilty © Cargill

In UK trials, where LivaPig was added to the diet at a 1% inclusion rate from five to seven days before farrowing and until weaning, the proportion of stillbirths was reduced by 2.4%. The number of pigs weaned per litter increased by 0.5, resulting in an extra 1.2 pigs per sow per year. 

Beyond that trial work, there are five additional commercial trials evaluating LivaPig ongoing in the UK, the Cargill spokesperson told FeedNavigator.

Producers in the UK have reported that sows farrow faster, with less farrowing assistance needed. Overall, piglets are born with more vitality and also go on to wean heavier,”​ added Cargill UK’s technical pig specialist, Maisie Lord.

LivaPig was introduced into sow diets in Europe early in 2019. Trial work across mainland Europe has been carried out in both research and commercial units, said the representative.

The most recent results show an average improvement in livability of 3.2%, driven by a reduction in stillbirths of 1.34% and pre weaning mortality reduction of 1.5%. Results also show that, on average, the level of assistance needed during farrowing has halved.   

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