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Causes of energy loss in newborn

Managing energy loss in the first days of weaning will determine the pig's subsequent development.

What effect energy loss produce by the new born piglets, and weaned pigs?

Before we go deep explanation of energy loss, it is important to understand the causes of the energy loss, and how the piglets reach the loosen energy level. Question could be that how the newborn piglet know, what is the right way to find the milk, and if he do not arrive there in a short time what could be the biggest risk? Can piglets already loose energy during farrowing time? We would like to share some information about new born piglets regarding these questions, and of course analyzing from a few points the weaned piglets as well.  We have to know that the energy loose by the time of weaning can be solved primary with a good management.

Can piglets already loose energy during farrowing time?

Good to know that  the sow loose energy during the farrowing and this effects the piglet’s birth as well: piglets loose energy because they have to move in the uterus, to stimulate the sow for pushing. Of course, the piglet movement has an impact on the hormone production during the farrowing time. With other words if there is no piglet’s movement then there is no hormone production and the farrowing getting longer or more complicated. Therefor is very important that farrowing time interval gets as short as possible. Very often we can remark specially by those sows who farrow many piglets, that some of the last farrowed piglets are standing unconscious, freezing, without moving, behind the sow. In this case the piglet’s energy level is low, brain is out of control, therefore he can’t calibrate himself to find the way to the colostrum milk. (used definition: GPS is offline). Like information is good to know as well that when the sow is pushing out the piglet, using the tail with punch, push, giving a signal to the piglet regarding the direction of the tits. It is fair to put up the question, what about when 2-3 piglets come in the same time? Actually, the second signal for the piglets is the hair of the sow, because if the opposite circulation is irritating the nose of the piglets and make them to turn into the other way. When the piglet’s body temperature (38-40 degree Celsius by the time of farrowing) suddenly drops 2-3 degree, the muscles are getting paralyzed, the GPS get offline, other reflexes, together with the suckling reflex are getting weak. We can often realize when we see newborn piglets, some  of them lost somewhere in the farrowing pen and freezing, shaking - , this all related to energy loss, and with this automatic behavior, the body is protecting himself from death. The energy source for a newborn piglet is the colostrum milk and the infra lamp in the piglet nest. The chance for survive for those pigs who were borned with low energy level in a non-optimal surrounding is very low. Important to remark the energy balance has an impact in digestion, growth, and health.

At the weaned pigs is very important that specially in the first couple of days, piglets should not lose energy. The energy loss of the weaned piglets specially right after weaning harms the digestion of the food. We know that undigested food ends up in diarrhea, and the main reason is, that intestinal villi has been partially destroyed. By energy loss, stress is coming up, making less appetite with low food intake, destroying the intestinal villi. Stress and energy influence each other very closely. Loss of energy has a stress-inducing effect and a stress effect deprives the body of energy. Imagine ourself in an unknown surrounding, with daily fight, searching for accommodation, the same is happening with the pigs just bit more worst because we take them away from their mother.
Food component and quality can also be an issue, in the manner of energy use, if the food is not optimized to the size of the piglets, because the piglets need to use more energy for digestion, or need more energy as well to those unknown components we have added in the feed. The broken energy balance in the body open gates for different bacterias and viruses.