1. All piglets must be guaranteed minimum 10-15 ml colostrum. Those that cannot get to the teat are given via split suckling or milking. Either from a sow or alternatively colostrum from a cow.
  2. Prevent cooling down behind the sow right after farrowing e.g. with a heating lamp or straw.
  3. Keep an optimal creep area environment with control of temperature, mat, light bulb intensity, use of dog hole plates and no broken coverings where heat can escape. We can test it for you with our thermographic camera.
  4. Lower the room temperature to 17-19°C so there is better air in the unit and a lower infection pressure of airborne, contagious agents for better thriving of the sow and fewer crushed pigs. With a good creep area environment, the piglets can easily manage the lower room temperature.
  5. Keep focus on the sow as nothing can ensure healthy and strong pigs better than a well-functioning sow. Check for fever the day after farrowing (<39,5).
  6. Replace syringes frequently as used syringes are a potential infection bomb as is the oral pump used for coccidiosis treatment.
  7. Do routine procedures carefully and correctly – every time. This applies to both iron supply, oral treatments and invasive procedures such as tail-docking and castration.
  8. Keep the employees motivated by setting realistic goals, part-goals and celebrating the small successes along the way.

Injection iron

In connection with administering iron, you should pay attention to whether

  • The syringes give the correct dose (we often see brittle rubber which draws up air)
  • Too fast injection causes backflow

To avoid backflow, you can pull the skin back a little before injection so that the injection canal in muscle and skin, respectively, are displaced when you let go of the skin again. Thereby the skin helps keep the dose in. Backflow can also be seen when using a syringe of a wrong size. Talk to the manufacturer of the product and follow their guidelines.


We take samples in the farrowing unit

We regularly take haemoglobin samples in the farrowing unit to test whether the level is as it should be. Generally, pigs should have a haemoglobin level above 100 g/L before weaning.

If there are two or more pigs with a haemoglobin level below 100 g/L, your herd veterinarian will make an action plan to increase the haemoglobin level before weaning.


Focus on piglet survival

You can keep piglet mortality below 10% with a solid effort and the right focus areas.

The causes of high mortality may vary a lot from herd to herd so a good place to start is thorough necropsies. They can determine causes of death and underlying problems so we can make a strategy together to reduce piglet mortality.

This of course involves extra work, persistence, minor renovations and changes and the results can be slow to come. However, you will succeed.

When signing up for our “MAX 10% concept” you get separate visits from a veterinarian who is not your herd veterinarian. It is an advantage to get fresh eyes on the herd and that there is only focus on piglet mortality during these visits.

Every project is tailored to each herd so we can find the best solution for everyone.

Are you already ready to start? Then we have collected 3 of the most effective measures here:

  • Supply of 75-100 g glucose powder (dextrose) for sows that seem “tired” during farrowing. Give her a taste in the corner of her mouth and the rest on the floor in front of her once her interest has awakened. You can give 50 g more later during farrowing if needed. In some cases, the number of stillborns per litter has been reduced from 2-3 per litter to 1.8 per litter.
  • Minimising the moving of piglets can reduce mortality before weaning by several percent. Up to 48 hours after farrowing, it is “allowed” to litter equalise and move the pigs, but after that piglets must not be moved besides moving of unthrifty pigs to a collecting sow in the same section.
  • Strict temperature control of the creep areas so they always follow the recommended temperatures) measured on the floor with a laser thermometer).
    • Days 0-4: 34-36º C
    • Days 5-14: 32-34º C
    • Day 15-weaning: 30º C