Modern pig farm operation brings new challenges, opportunities to farmers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 11:02

By NONOY E LACSON

Modern pig farm operations around the world today have contributed significantly to ensure food sufficiency for billions of people and more opportunities to increase farmers’ incomes, but along with these come new challenges, too, according to animal health experts.

One of the drawbacks nowadays is the use of concrete flooring in modern pens because they deprive the pigs, especially young pigs, of one of the most vital and essential minerals – iron – which would have been readily available and accessible from natural soil.

As a result, iron has become one of the most important mineral supplements in raising new-born pigs because they require high amounts of iron to help ward off anemia and infections that could result to stunting and even death.

Dr. Allen Valdeavilla, Technical Extension Veterinarian of Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company or UNAHCO, said while piglets have a reserve of 40 mg of iron upon birth and could get about one to two more milligrams from the sow’s milk every day, the total reserve iron could last only for approximately four days given the new-born pigs’ high iron requirements for growth.

“It is thus imperative to give new-born pigs a 1ml (100mg) iron supplement injection on Day 3 after birth, which should support their high growth rates during the next 10 days and avoid anemia that could lead to infections and stunting,” Dr. Valdeavilla said.

He said a second 1ml iron supplement shot should be again administered on Day 14 to ensure high survivability of the piglets, increase their weight and keep them infection-free until they are ready for weaning.

Dr. Valdeavilla said one of the best iron supplements in the market today is Univet’s Jectran Premium which is the only one fortified with zinc, another essential mineral that helps improve resistance from diseases.

Aside from zinc, he said each 1ml formulation of Jectran contains 100 mg of pure high grade iron as well as Vitamin B12 and cobalt that helps ensure fast growth and high survival rates for piglets which translates to higher income for swine raisers.

“Anemia is a sad reality for swine raisers because most of our pig pens nowadays have concrete floors that deprive pigs of natural iron from the soil,” he said. “That is why it is essential to give the right iron supplements to fight anemia and stunting to ensure a profitable farm operation,” he said. — Nonoy E. Lacson