The transition from gestation to lactation (transitional phase) is a drastic period for sows and piglets. An adapted feeding program and the use of TWILMIX Transition Mix keep the energy and protein balance of the sow in balance. This promotes a smooth birth process, gives piglets the best conceivable start and therefore results in better reproductive results.

The number of piglets that still live three days after birth is an important indicator of the final number of weaned piglets. The transition phase is therefore crucial for the reproduction results. The perinatal mortality of piglets has many causes, including a laborious birth process, low glycogen reserves or limited colostrum intake. A smooth birth process is accompanied by less stillborn and more vital piglets.

The first day of life
Smooth udder contact and the inclusion of sufficient high-quality colostrum are unmistakably related to a smooth birth process. Newborn piglets require a lot of energy on their first day of life for maintenance, thermoregulation and activity (walking and suckling). The glycogen reserves at birth are an important source. These are mainly recorded during the last 2-4 weeks prepartum. The total energy requirement, reduced by the energy reserves at birth, equals 3.7 kg colostrum for a 16 piglet load (180 g per kg LW). In the event of too low (100-200 g) or much too low (<100 g) colostrum intake, piglet mortality can rise to over 60% in the first 24 hours.

Twilmix transition mix
The timely replacement of gestation feed with a transitional feed with the use of the TWILMIX Transit mix optimizes the energy, protein and mineral supply of the sow at the end of the gestation and in the first lactation phase. Because the need for energy, protein, amino acids and minerals varies greatly at this stage, it is important to coordinate the feed strategy accordingly. A proper feeding strategy helps to extend the life span of sows and to increase the chance of survival of perinatal piglets. This promotes a smooth birth process, keeps the intestines healthy and improves colostrum quality and absorption.

Measured effects
In a test conducted by Twilmij, the effect of the TWILMIX Transition Mix was examined. Here 30 sows were compared (of which 15.4% first worps), divided equally between a control group (CON) and a group that received the mix (TRA). The sows in the treatment received 50 grams of TWILMIX Transition Mix per day from day 85 in the gestation until the cast. The sows collapsed 498 piglets of which on average 15.1 (1.31 kg) and 14.2 (1.28 kg) piglets were born alive in the TRA and the CON group respectively. The turn variation decreased from 14.5% to 8.8%. All births are visually recorded and took place naturally. The total delivery time in the CON group was 3:48 hours, while the sows in the TRA group threw more piglets in just 3:25 hours (Figure 1). The duration from birth to first teat contact was almost equal (29 vs. 27 min for CON and TRA group, respectively).

TWILMIX Transition mix demonstrably contributes to better reproductive results through a favorable effect on the number of live-born piglets and the birth process. A float birth process promotes a balanced distribution of the colostrum over the flock, the energy intake and the chances of survival, especially for the lighter piglets.