Husbandry and management practices in farrowing units II. Lactation
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Husbandry and management practices in farrowing units II. Lactation

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After providing a comprehensive review of the fundamental aspects of farrowing (physiology, facilities, organisation, etc.) in the first volume, in this second volume the authors focus on the next phase, lactation. From the technical and physiological aspects that affect both the mother and the piglet, to production targets, feeding, health programmes on the farm or personnel management. These are topics that will undoubtedly be helpful in the daily practice of professional veterinary surgeons. As in the previous volume, the authors have achieved a very practical book with rigorous contents, based on their experience and technical literature, accompanied by a large amount of visual material to complement the information given.

Emilio Magallón (coordinator)

He is a member of Anaporc (Spanish Scientific Swine Production Association) and founding member of the AVPA (Association of Swine Veterinary Practitioners of Aragon).

Alberto Garcia Flores

Graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Zaragoza, Spain, with a specialisation in Animal Medicine and Health.

Roberto Bautista

Since 1997 he has been working for livestock production companies. In the swine sector he has worked as a veterinary surgeon for Inga Food, S.A., where he has been in charge of the technical, economic and clinical management of sow farms and fattening units for more than 15 years.

Boris Alonso

From 2001 to 2007, he was responsible for the management of pig fattening and breeding farms and since 2007 he has been working for the Technical Veterinary Service of Inga Food, S.A., in the region of Aragon.

Other authors

José Ignacio Cano, Silvia Almenara, Patricia Prieto, Pablo Magallón

1. Introduction

2. Technical and physiological considerations regarding lactation

Natural behaviour of the sow and piglet during lactation


Behaviour of the sow in the

farrowing room


Physiology of lactation

Mammary gland formation

Anatomical review of the mammary gland

Number and type of teats

Endocrinology of lactation


Maintenance of lactation (galactopoiesis)

Milk ejection

Lactation curve and milk production

Phases of nursing

Composition of colostrum

Composition of milk

Physiology of the suckling piglet

Mortality at birth-weaning



Physiology of weaning

Hormonal changes in the sow

Age at weaning

Weight at weaning and growth curve

Weaning and stress in the piglet

3. Environmental control

Environmental requirements of the lactating sow and piglet

Environmental control systems

Animal welfare requirements

4. Feeding of the lactating sow and piglet

Key concepts of nutrition

Feed requirements

Water requirements

Feeding of the lactating sow

Types of feed

Feeding curves

Feeding of the suckling piglet

Creep feed

Milk replacers



Other dietary supplements

Body condition monitoring systems

Visual monitoring

Body condition scoring

Individual weight control with scales

Control of back fat thickness

Weight control using a measuring tape

5. Lactating sow management

Management practices during lactation

Different management strategies: cross-fostering, nurse sows, artificial lactations, complete lactations

6. Suckling piglet management

Piglet management

Processing of piglets: teeth clipping, tail docking,


Main piglet management procedures


Inguinal hernia surgery

7. Cross-fostering management


Partial cross-fostering

Shunt fostering

8. Weaning management

Sow weaning management

Piglet weaning management

Age at weaning

Types of weaning. Partial weaning

9. Health programmes

Health strategy

Main diseases of the lactating sow


Digestive problems

Joint problems


Main diseases of the piglet

Diarrhoeic problems

Parasitic problems



Exudative epidermitis




Prophylactic programmes

Vaccines for the sow and piglet

Antiparasitic treatments

Systematic treatments

10. Personnel management

Necessary aspects for correct personnel management








Staff turnover


Working with objectives

Work health and safety

11. Production targets during lactation

Concept of present sow

Concept of productive sow at first service

Concept of productive sow at first farrowing

Farrowing per sow and year

Weaned piglets per litter

Productivity per sow and year

Present sow

Productive sow at first service

Productive sow at farrowing

12. Conclusions

13. Reference list

  • Autor/es Alberto García Flores, Boris Alonso Sánchez, Emilio Magallón Botaya, José Ignacio Cano Latorre, Pablo Magallón Verde, Patricia Prieto Martínez, Roberto Bautista Moreno
  • Fecha de edición diciembre 2014
  • Nº Páginas 200
  • Encuadernación Tapa dura
  • Tamaño 17 X 24
  • Idioma Inglés

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