The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


The study was conducted in 2 parts. The first was the development of a milking machine for sows, composed of a vacuum generator providing 33-38 cmHg, a pulse rate of 30-45/mins and a set of 2 teat cups to fit the sows teats. The results from 34 milkings at farm 1 and 28 milkings at farm 2 showed that the amount of colostrum obtained was 96.77±38.63 ml and 114.93±75.09 ml, respectively, taking an average of 19 mins/milking with no damage to the udder. The second part of the study was to manually feed 9 ml of the colostrum, obtained from each milking to small piglets which had been divided into 2 groups : an under weight group (less than 1.00 kg of body weight) and a light weight group (1.00-1.20 kg of body weight). In comparison with a control group of piglets, with the same body weight, in farm 1 revealed no statistical differences in terms of birth weight (1.02±0.13 vs 1.03±0.13 kg), weaning weight (4.61±0.82 vs 4.47±0.91 kg) and average daily gain (215.46±48.64 vs 207.47±54.01 gm/day) (n=161) ; similar results were seen in farm 2 (n=112) for birth weight (1.04±0.14 vs 1.04±0.13 kg) weaning weight (4.87±1.02 vs 4.94±1.13 kg) and average daily gain (232.42±55.54 vs 235.93±66.44 g/day ). In addition, there were no significant differences in the mortality rate between the tested and control groups in both of the farms studied. However, the sow milk obtained by an electric milking machine is expected to be cleaner than, by-hand, milk and secondly the extra colostrum given to the small-sized piglets would guarantee that all of them obtained colostrum in adequate amounts and would ensure immunoglobulin from colostrum at birth.



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