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Stackyard News Nov 2011

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Reduced Mortality and Higher Weaning Weights with Rescuemilk

Recent trials and research data using Provimi’s piglet milk replacer RescueMilk shows that piglet mortality can be reduced and weaning weights increased.

Provimi RescueCup in action


Developed by Provimi, RescueMilk is fed using an automated system and fed through RescueCups which are installed in the farrowing pen or in a RescueDeck.

On farm trials compared feeding RescueMilk through the RescueDeck system with relying on the sow’s milk in a range of litter sizes. Results consistently showed a reduction in mortality of 5% and an increase of 0.5kg in weaning weights.

“The number of live born piglets per litter has been steadily increasing in many EU countries. For example, the national average in the Netherlands now stands at 13.5 piglets per sow,” says Stephen Cassidy, Provimi pig product manager for the UK and Ireland. “It is expected that this trend will continue.”

The consequence of increased litter sizes is an increase in the number of weak and small piglets. Normally, these piglets are transferred to other sows but this reduces performance with less uniformity, lower litter indexes and a potential increase in disease. Also, more farrowing house space is required to accommodate these foster sows.

Provimi RescueDeck

Provimi Rescue Deck

“Providing RescueMilk in the farrowing room, through RescueCups or in RescueDecks, is an ideal solution,” adds Mr Cassidy. “It ensures that all piglets born have access to adequate amounts of milk and it gives the weaker piglets chance to catch up, making the litter more uniform in size. The system also encourages the intake of dry feed so that post weaning dips are minimised.”

Provimi anticipates that the provision of milk replacer to piglets will become standard procedure in the near future and that each farrowing pen will be fitted with a RescueCup. The RescueDeck, RescueCup and RescueMilk are already used very successfully in many EU countries including the UK and Ireland.

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