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A healthy functional well-formed udder is an important to piglet survive not only to carry out colostrum and milk but also to give all the piglets straightforward teat access.

Teat and udder conformation

There space two an essential factors that decide whether a sow can rear 12 or more pigs; an initial whether every piglets are able come get access to teats and 2nd whether they have the right to suck milk openly from them. These might seem noticeable but just how seriously room they thought about when the gilt is gift selected? the is not uncommon to view a gilt at farrowing with no useful teats in ~ all, or a sow farrowing with say, 5 viable teats and also the remainder no functional. But an option for an excellent teats and also udders is not as basic as that sounds, particularly if the number of females to select from is small. Part teats the appear tiny and reverse at selection may develop and also be totally functional in ~ parturition and vice versa. Fortunately, in large herds the strange mistake deserve to usually be mitigated through cross-fostering. Nevertheless, if you are a farmer who selects gilts native your own herd you need to not forget that successful rearing that litters starts at gilt selection.

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Teat conformation

A straightforward understanding the the anatomy that the teat is helpful if an excellent functional ones are to be selected and also their conformation can be classified native 1 to 5 (Fig.8-18). The perfect teat is elongated and also pointed with two teat canals opened to the exterior. A class 2 teat will not be so elongated however the teat end protrudes fine down. Course 3 is the cut-off suggest for an option and this is wherein the teat sphincter (often appearing as a black color dot) can still it is in seen as soon as viewed at eye level. A course 4 teat is one wherein the teat sphincter is no visible, in various other words the teat canal is shortened resulting in an inverted teat. Together a teat need to be considered non viable. A ratio of turning back teats will be attracted out through the piglet in ~ suckling, however at least 50% of lock will remain blind. Why take it the risk? A class 5 teat is typically one whereby the teat has actually been rubbed off in the an initial 48 hours of birth. (Teat necrosis).


Teat numbers

The optimum or minimum number of functional teats ~ above the breeding gilt is a debatable point.

The appropriate would be 16 teats, yet this might represent only 5% that the gilt population, with roughly only 25% having 14 - so the commercial selection is 12 great teats with 14 or 16 in the Meishan cross breed. If however, friend are choosing gilts from your own herd, select 14 or an ext if possible.

Teat placement

The place of the teats on the udder is same as vital as teat conformation. That is no use having actually 14 perfect teats if your placement results in poor accessibility at birth. Teats need to be equally spaced v no supernumerary ones and be in two parallel lines. Once teats diverge they space poorly gift to the piglet in ~ birth. Pets with large girths also exaggerate the teat placement. (Fig.8-19).


Bad teat conformation is one of the significant reasons why a breeding female will certainly not rear 11 or 12 pigs. There might be a history in a herd of great litters born yet by the time the pigs are five days the age, 2 or three begin to present signs of lack of milk they loosened condition and also have to be fostered. 2 pigs can survive ~ above one teat in the first 12-24 hours after farrowing however eventually the stronger pig take away over and also the various other is left with the teat that has now become obtainable but it has started to dry off.

The placement of an excellent teats ~ above the boar the is supplied to produce reproduction females should likewise be provided due emphasis at selection.

Reputable reproduction companies selling replacement reproduction stock are totally aware that the prominence of teat conformation, teat numbers and also teat placement and also make their examination an important part the the an option process. However, demand for gilts might be variable and choice rates (e.g. 50%, 60%, or 70%) have a bearing top top profitability. As a commercial producer buying gilts girlfriend should constantly check their underlines ~ above arrival.

Teat necrosis

It has actually been recognised because that a variety of years that within 18 hours of birth few of the teat sphincters on those teats in prior of the umbilical cord room traumatised by the floor surfaces. This reasons the sphincter to become necrotic (die). That is most most likely to occur in piglets born v swollen, oedematous teats and glands which results from the sow"s woman hormones cross the placenta. Such damages occurs on many floor surfaces however is obviously worse on unstable floors and is almost complete in ~ 24 hrs of birth. If gilts are to be selected, their teats need to be safeguarded from this trauma as quickly as feasible after birth. In some situations this can be aided by maintaining a deep bed the straw or shavings beneath the sow but in many situations this is not practical. The different is to protect the teats by paint them v cow gum, (which is a rubber solution, regularly used for attaching photographs come paper), call adhesive or spanning them through adhesive zinc oxide elastoplast for approximately 36 hours.

Selection technique

Gilts for reproduction can be selected initially at 5 days of age (and ear notched) for conformation and 12 to 14 an excellent pointed well put teats. This will offer an indication of the variety of animals that space potentially obtainable for an option at a established future date and with a an easy computer programme details of ease of access at that date can be predetermined. Up to 90% (but allow for no more than 75%) that these animals should be ultimately selected at 90kg weight.

Potential breeding animals should it is in examined an initial in a confined space such as a weigh crate to inspect the teats. If a five day selection has been carried out friend will recognize that many gilts will have actually 12 to 14 teats. The ideal is to collection a weigh crate on a ramp so the the gilts udder is 0.9-1.2m native the ground. The observer can then bring out a detailed examination and at the very same time evaluate the lateral displacement that teats. The final an option should be based top top a common vulva, in its entirety conformation and ease of movement to minimize the risk of leg weakness.

Recognising imminent disorders and feasible lactation failure

These must be established at the onset and the complying with procedures will certainly help:

The udder the every sow at farrowing and 12 to 24 hours after that should be palpated. The palm of the hand is inserted over each gland with the teat in the centre and also pressure used to a typical gland to the suggest at i m sorry the sow just responds. This traditional is then supplied to detect any abnormal pain and also changes in structure to the various other glands.The presence of oedema or liquid in the vulva or in the surface tissues in between the legs need to be noted.A finger need to be pressed tough into a gland to view whether a tiny impression is left behind. If therefore this is further proof of the very early stages of oedema. The an initial detectable changes are normally seen 4 come 6 hrs after farrowing yet occasionally serious mastitis or infection of the gland would certainly be noticeable before farrowing in which instance inappetence and also failure to suckle room observed.The proficient stockman or the veterinarian will recognise lactation fail by behavioral changes in the sow, absence of alertness and failure come lie over and suckle. Affected glands may be discoloured and also swollen.The sow might be off she food with a fever and laid on her belly.

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The an initial indication of lactation fail is presented in the piglets by elevated hair, hollow flanks and they actively seek food.