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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #289448

Title: Use of the Immunocrit to monitor a split-suckle program in commercial production

item Vallet, Jeff

Submitted to: Pig Reproduction National Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2013
Publication Date: 7/1/2013
Citation: Vallet, J.L. 2013. Use of the Immunocrit to monitor a split-suckle program in commercial production [abstract]. In: Rodriguez-Martinez, H., Soede, N.M., Flowers, W.L., editors. Control of Pig Reproduction IX. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Pig Reproduction, June 9-12, 2013, Olsztyn, Poland. Society of Reproduction and Fertility. 68:225-226.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Continued survival of neonatal piglets requires that they receive sufficient colostrum from the dam within the first 24 h of life. Many swine producers use split- suckling to optimize access of neonatal piglets to colostrum. However, it can be difficult to optimize the details of the procedures used and assess their outcomes with regard to colostrum acquisition by individual piglets. A technique called the “Immunocrit” (IC), based on measuring piglet serum immunoglobulin, was recently developed that allows rapid and inexpensive assessment of whether a piglet nurses successfully in the first day of life. The IC was used to compare piglets from split-suckled and untreated control litters in a commercial setting. Litters from sows (parity 1-8) were divided between control (n = 151) and split suckle (n = 160) treatments. For split-suckle treatment, when the number of piglets born alive reached 9, the first 5 piglets born were separated from the sow for up to 4 h, allowing the rest of the litter better access to the sow. Blood samples were collected from piglets in each litter on day 1 of age and measured for IgG using the IC. Piglet weights were collected on day 1 and at weaning, and survival was recorded at weaning. The split-suckle treatment increased (P