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Nursery Pig Success in the First 24 Hours

Swine Nursery Success in the First 24 Hours

Getting weaner pigs up, eating and drinking in the first 24 hours in the nursery is essential to their success. Pigs that don’t get up and start eating can quickly fall behind, and pigs that don’t eat in the first 36 hours have a 75% higher likelihood of early mortality.

Why Some Weaner Pigs Struggle

There are a variety of factors that can play into how long it takes weaner pigs to get on feed. These include:

  • Genetics. Certain genetic lines simply take longer to get motivated. With this in mind, it’s important to know your pigs’ genetics so that you can be prepared for the amount of work it will take to get them started on feed in the nursery.

  • Hydration. Pigs are more likely to eat if they start drinking. Many pigs get dehydrated during transportation, so having easy access to water, preferably with electrolytes, can be beneficial in getting them off to a solid start.

  • Gut health. When animals go off feed, their gut pH can rise, making it more hospitable to harmful bacteria such as E. coli. Adding an acidifier to their water source can help bring the animals’ guts back to a lower pH. Adding prebiotic fiber can also encourage gut activity and good bacterial growth to push out any harmful bacteria.

Factors That Can Impact Nursery Success

The proper environment is essential to getting your pigs going in their new nursery environment. Here are three tips for ensuring your pigs have what they need in the nursery:

  1. Get the barn to the right temperature. Around 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold, and the pigs will focus their energy on warming up, not on eating.

  2. Make sure everything is clean. Check that feeders and trough waterers are free of waste and disinfectant water. Older, more established pigs may not be bothered by disinfectant, but a small pig that's just getting on dry feed will struggle.

  3. Make the feed and water easily accessible. For water, this can mean using the appropriate nipple heights and delivery capacity – at least two cups of water per minute. Feeders should be adjusted so that 25-50% of the feeding pan is visible. There should be feed in the feeders and on mats for the pigs to consume.

How to Easily Improve Feed & Water Intake

Ralco’s Essential-Lyte™ can help quickly get weaner pigs drinking and eating while supporting gut health and providing the nutrients they need to stay healthy and thrive.

The unique blend of natural ingredients includes essential oils, a prebiotic, vitamins E and D, a water acidifier and electrolytes to help:

  • Get pigs drinking and eating

  • Rehydrate and restore nutrients

  • Promote immunity

  • Significantly lower gut pH

  • Manage disease pressure

Want to see the difference for yourself? Try a FREE sample of Essential-Lyte today!


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