Family feed (s): transition to an innovative feed and drinking concept that fits in with the natural behavior of the sow with its piglets
Weaning of piglets can lead to welfare and health problems due to a reduced capacity of the piglets. Scientific research shows that systems in which animals can show more of their natural behavior, increase the carrying capacity of animals and thus health problems (with the resultant use of medication and antibiotics) and welfare problems (for example tail biting, which often starts in the maternity home, and is related to this) reducing the use of procedures such as tail docking and treating weaning diarrhea with antibiotics. The carrying capacity of piglets can be increased by better preparing them for weaning.
Research shows that sowing the eating behavior of the piglets can promote the feed intake of piglets around weaning, thereby reducing the weaning problem.
TKI Agri & Food has approved an initiative from various parties to jointly develop an innovative feed concept for sows and piglets (Family Foods) that is in line with the natural behavior, by stimulating / facilitating the pig’s eating / drinking learning behavior through the sow and facilitating the promote feed intake of piglets around weaning, so that the negative effects of the weaning process on welfare and health are reduced. . The innovation in this project is a new feed concept for sows and piglets in which the piglets, just like in nature, learn to eat and drink from the sow because they can eat and drink together with the sow. The duration of this research project is 3 years.
The project is a collaboration between Wageningen Livestock Research, Trouw Nutrition Benelux, Vereijken Hooijer B.V., Wageningen University Department of Animal Sciences Adaptation Physiology and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). In addition, there is a sounding board group of a number of sow farmers and experts.