The following is an excerpt from an article by Solutions Deployment Team Manager Dr. Jules Taylor-Pickard on Pig Progress.
Times are long gone when supplying minerals to pigs was one-size-fits-all. Sows have different demands depending on their parity, size and litter size. Supplying the correct amounts will enhance sow performance — and will provide benefits for her piglets, too.
Minerals are important for maintaining the body and ensuring animal performance. In breeding sows, certain minerals are needed for successful conception and parturition. Chromium influences follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones and is also needed to produce insulin, which affects progesterone production. Both hormones are required for regulating ovulation and have a direct impact on fertility and litter numbers. Manganese is required for progesterone production, while iron and chromium are required for further hormone activity, which influences embryo survival during pregnancy. Uterine capacity, which dictates the number of piglets born, requires appropriate feeding levels of selenium, iron and chromium.
Breeding animals have higher mineral requirements, since they must produce ova that are robust enough to achieve conception, supply developing fetuses with minerals for correct development and, in the case of mammals, produce milk to suckle their young. As such, breeding sows can often be deficient in mineral intake, especially when tissue reserves are depleted.
Dr. Pickard further delves into the different roles minerals play in supporting optimum sow performance and the difference the right mineral can make to your sows and her piglets. To find out more, read the rest of Dr. Pickard’s article.
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