Main content area

Effect of cow colostrum on the performance and survival rate of local newborn piglets in Benin Republic

Agbokounou, Aristide Mahoutin, Ahounou, Gbênangnon Serge, Youssao Abdou Karim, Issaka, Mensah, Guy Apollinaire, Koutinhouin, Bénoît, Hornick, Jean-Luc
Tropical animal health and production 2017 v.49 no.2 pp. 287-294
average daily gain, cattle, cow colostrum, farmers, farms, growth performance, neonates, piglets, profitability, rearing, sows, survival rate, swine breeds, weight gain, Benin
The effect of bovine colostrum, including its thermally labile compounds, on the survival and growth performance of local breed piglets reared by their mother, in Benin, was evaluated over a 49-day trial. Three groups of 16 piglets, stemming from two primiparous sows belonging to a unique traditional farm, were respectively fed for the first 48 h of life with either bovine colostrum heated to 85 °C for 30 min, or thawed bovine colostrum, or colostrum from the mother. Thereafter, the animals that received bovine colostrum turned back to their mother. At day 21, almost all piglets from the group that received heated colostrum died. The highest total weight gain was obtained in the group that received thawed bovine colostrum (P ˂ 0.01), followed by the group left with the mother. Corresponding average daily gains (ADGs) were 56, 34 and 2 g/day, respectively (P ˂ 0.05). At the end of the trial, the treatment effect was highly significant on the survival of piglets (100% in the thawed colostrum group vs. 00 and 50%, respectively, in the heated colostrum group and in the group left with the mother). At day 49, numerically higher weight and ADGs were obtained in the group that received thawed cow colostrum. Thawed bovine colostrum improved the growth performance and piglet survival in the local pig breed in Benin, probably owing to thermally labile components. Bovine colostrum may be used in our farms in order to reduce pre-weaning mortality, improve the profitability of livestock farmers, and ensure survival of traditional farms. The use of bovine colostrum on farms could be facilitated by collaboration between pig farmers and bovine farmers. It could also be facilitated by the creation of a colostrum bank.