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This content is taken from our book, regulating Pig Health, the market leading pig publication. Available currently from 5mBooks.com


A healthy functional well-formed udder is crucial to piglet survival not only to provide colostrum and also milk but likewise to provide all the piglets simple teat access.

Teat and udder conformation

There space two fundamental factors that decide even if it is a sow have the right to rear 12 or an ext pigs; first whether every piglets room able come get accessibility to teats and 2nd whether they can suck milk freely from them. These might seem obvious but exactly how seriously room they considered when the gilt is gift selected? the is not unusual to watch a gilt in ~ farrowing through no useful teats in ~ all, or a sow farrowing with say, 5 viable teats and the remainder no functional. But an option for great teats and also udders is no as easy as the sounds, particularly if the variety of females to choose from is small. Part teats the appear tiny and turning back at choice may develop and also be totally functional at parturition and also vice versa. Fortunately, in huge herds the odd mistake have the right to usually it is in mitigated by cross-fostering. Nevertheless, if you room a farmer that selects gilts from your own herd you need to not forget that effective rearing that litters starts in ~ gilt selection.

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Teat conformation

A an easy understanding that the anatomy that the teat is advantageous if an excellent functional ones room to be selected and also their conformation can be classified native 1 to 5 (Fig.8-18). The perfect teat is elongated and pointed with two teat canals opening to the exterior. A class 2 teat will certainly not be so elongated yet the teat end protrudes fine down. Class 3 is the cut-off point for choice and this is wherein the teat sphincter (often showing up as a black color dot) have the right to still it is in seen as soon as viewed at eye level. A class 4 teat is one whereby the teat sphincter is no visible, in various other words the teat canal is shortened bring about an reverse teat. Together a teat should be considered non viable. A ratio of turning back teats will be drawn out by the piglet at suckling, however at the very least 50% of lock will continue to be blind. Why take it the risk? A class 5 teat is usually one whereby the teat has been rubbed off in the first 48 hours of birth. (Teat necrosis).

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Teat numbers

The optimum or minimum number of functional teats top top the reproduction gilt is a debatable point.

The ideal would it is in 16 teats, yet this may represent only 5% of the gilt population, with approximately only 25% having 14 - so the commercial an option is 12 good teats through 14 or 16 in the Meishan cross breed. If however, girlfriend are picking gilts indigenous your own herd, choose 14 or more if possible.

Teat placement

The place of the teats top top the udder is same as necessary as teat conformation. The is no use having 14 perfect teats if their placement results in poor accessibility at birth. Teats must be same spaced v no supernumerary ones and be in 2 parallel lines. When teats diverge they are poorly presented to the piglet at birth. Animals with big girths additionally exaggerate the teat placement. (Fig.8-19).

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Bad teat conformation is among the significant reasons why a breeding female will not behind 11 or 12 pigs. There might be a background in a herd of an excellent litters born yet by the moment the pigs are five days of age, two or three start to show signs of lack of milk they loosened condition and also have to be fostered. Two pigs deserve to survive ~ above one teat in the an initial 12-24 hours after farrowing yet eventually the stronger pig bring away over and the other is left through the teat that has actually now become accessible but it has actually started to dry off.

The location of great teats on the boar the is offered to produce breeding females should additionally be offered due focus at selection.

Reputable reproduction companies selling replacement breeding stock are fully aware of the importance of teat conformation, teat numbers and also teat placement and also make your examination vital part of the choice process. However, need for gilts may be change and an option rates (e.g. 50%, 60%, or 70%) have a bearing top top profitability. Together a commercial producer purchase gilts you should always check their underlines ~ above arrival.

Teat necrosis

It has actually been recognised because that a variety of years that within 18 hrs of birth some of the teat sphincters on those teats in prior of the umbilical cord space traumatised by the floor surfaces. This causes the sphincter to come to be necrotic (die). It is most most likely to take place in piglets born v swollen, oedematous teats and also glands which results from the sow"s mrs hormones crossing the placenta. Such damages occurs on many floor surfaces yet is clear worse on unstable floors and also is nearly complete within 24 hours of birth. If gilts are to it is in selected, your teats must be defended from this trauma as soon as feasible after birth. In some situations this can be assisted by preserving a deep bed the straw or shavings beneath the sow however in many cases this is not practical. The alternative is to protect the teats by paint them through cow gum, (which is a rubber solution, frequently used for attaching photographs to paper), contact adhesive or covering them v adhesive zinc oxide elastoplast for as much as 36 hours.

Selection technique

Gilts for reproduction can it is in selected at first at five days of period (and ear notched) for conformation and 12 to 14 an excellent pointed well put teats. This will provide an clues of the number of animals that room potentially easily accessible for selection at a figured out future date and also with a simple computer programme details of access at that day can be predetermined. Up to 90% (but permit for no more than 75%) the these pets should be finally selected at 90kg weight.

Potential breeding pets should be examined very first in a confined room such as a sweet crate to examine the teats. If a five day an option has been brought out friend will understand that most gilts will have actually 12 to 14 teats. The ideal is to set a sweet crate on a ramp so that the gilts udder is 0.9-1.2m native the ground. The observer deserve to then lug out a thorough examination and at the same time evaluate the lateral displacement the teats. The final an option should be based top top a common vulva, overall conformation and also ease of movement to minimize the hazard of foot weakness.

Recognising impending disorders and feasible lactation failure

These should be figured out at the onset and the following procedures will certainly help:

The udder the every sow in ~ farrowing and 12 come 24 hours afterwards should be palpated. The palm the the hand is placed over each gland through the teat in the centre and pressure used to a typical gland come the suggest at i beg your pardon the sow simply responds. This traditional is then offered to detect any kind of abnormal pain and also changes in structure to the other glands.The visibility of oedema or liquid in the vulva or in the surface ar tissues in between the legs should be noted.A finger must be pressed difficult into a gland to check out whether a small impression is left behind. If for this reason this is further evidence of the an extremely early step of oedema. The an initial detectable alters are generally seen 4 come 6 hrs after farrowing yet occasionally severe mastitis or infection of the gland would be obvious before farrowing in which case inappetence and also failure come suckle space observed.The knowledgeable stockman or the veterinarian will recognise lactation failure by behavioral changes in the sow, absence of alertness and also failure come lie over and also suckle. Influenced glands might be discoloured and also swollen.The sow might be off her food with a fever and laid on her belly.

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The first indication of lactation fail is shown in the piglets by increased hair, hollow flanks and they proactively seek food.