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A healthy functional well-formed udder is crucial to piglet survival not just to carry out colostrum and also milk but likewise to give all the piglets straightforward teat access.

Teat and also udder conformation

There are two an essential factors the decide even if it is a sow can rear 12 or more pigs; first whether all piglets space able to get access to teats and second whether they deserve to suck milk freely from them. These may seem evident but exactly how seriously space they taken into consideration when the gilt is being selected? the is not uncommon to watch a gilt at farrowing v no useful teats in ~ all, or a sow farrowing v say, five viable teats and also the remainder no functional. But an option for good teats and udders is no as simple as that sounds, an especially if the variety of females to pick from is small. Part teats the appear small and turning back at selection may develop and be fully functional at parturition and vice versa. Fortunately, in large herds the odd mistake deserve to usually be mitigated through cross-fostering. Nevertheless, if you space a farmer that selects gilts native your own herd you must not forget that successful rearing of litters starts at gilt selection.

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Teat conformation

A straightforward understanding the the anatomy the the teat is useful if an excellent functional ones are to it is in selected and their conformation can be classified from 1 come 5 (Fig.8-18). The perfect teat is elongated and pointed with two teat canals opening to the exterior. A class 2 teat will certainly not be so elongated yet the teat end protrudes fine down. Course 3 is the cut-off allude for an option and this is whereby the teat sphincter (often showing up as a black color dot) have the right to still be seen once viewed at eye level. A class 4 teat is one whereby the teat sphincter is not visible, in various other words the teat canal is shortened bring about an reverse teat. Such a teat should be taken into consideration non viable. A proportion of reverse teats will be attracted out by the piglet in ~ suckling, but at least 50% of lock will remain blind. Why take it the risk? A course 5 teat is normally one where the teat has been rubbed turn off in the very first 48 hours of birth. (Teat necrosis).


Teat numbers

The optimum or minimum number of functional teats top top the breeding gilt is a discuss point.

The best would be 16 teats, but this might represent only 5% of the gilt population, with about only 25% having 14 - therefore the commercial selection is 12 great teats with 14 or 16 in the Meishan overcome breed. If however, girlfriend are choosing gilts indigenous your very own herd, select 14 or more if possible.

Teat placement

The position of the teats top top the udder is equally as important as teat conformation. It is no use having actually 14 perfect teats if their placement results in poor accessibility at birth. Teats must be equally spaced v no supernumerary ones and also be in two parallel lines. Once teats diverge they room poorly gift to the piglet at birth. Animals with large girths also exaggerate the teat placement. (Fig.8-19).


Bad teat conformation is just one of the major reasons why a breeding female will not rear 11 or 12 pigs. There may be a history in a herd of an excellent litters born yet by the moment the pigs are 5 days the age, two or three start to present signs of absence of milk they loose condition and also have to it is in fostered. 2 pigs have the right to survive on one teat in the very first 12-24 hours after farrowing yet eventually the more powerful pig bring away over and also the various other is left with the teat that has now become obtainable but it has started to dry off.

The placement of great teats top top the boar the is offered to produce breeding females should also be offered due focus at selection.

Reputable reproduction companies offering replacement reproduction stock are totally aware the the prestige of teat conformation, teat numbers and also teat placement and make your examination vital part that the choice process. However, need for gilts may be change and selection rates (e.g. 50%, 60%, or 70%) have a bearing top top profitability. Together a advertisement producer purchase gilts girlfriend should constantly check your underlines ~ above arrival.

Teat necrosis

It has been recognised because that a number of years the within 18 hrs of birth few of the teat sphincters on those teats in prior of the umbilical cord space traumatised through the floor surfaces. This reasons the sphincter to come to be necrotic (die). It is most likely to take place in piglets born through swollen, oedematous teats and also glands which outcomes from the sow"s mrs hormones cross the placenta. Such damage occurs on many floor surfaces yet is obviously worse on turbulent floors and is virtually complete in ~ 24 hours of birth. If gilts space to it is in selected, your teats have to be protected from this trauma as quickly as feasible after birth. In some scenarios this have the right to be helped by keeping a deep bed of straw or shavings beneath the sow however in many situations this is not practical. The different is to safeguard the teats by paint them with cow gum, (which is a rubber solution, regularly used because that attaching photographs to paper), contact adhesive or covering them through adhesive zinc oxide elastoplast for up to 36 hours.

Selection technique

Gilts for breeding can be selected at first at five days of age (and ear notched) for conformation and also 12 to 14 good pointed well put teats. This will provide an indication of the variety of animals that space potentially accessible for an option at a identified future date and also with a basic computer programme details of access at that date can it is in predetermined. As much as 90% (but enable for no much more than 75%) the these pets should be finally selected at 90kg weight.

Potential breeding pets should be examined very first in a confined an are such as a sweet crate to examine the teats. If a 5 day choice has been carried out girlfriend will understand that most gilts will have 12 to 14 teats. The best is to collection a sweet crate on a ramp so the the gilts udder is 0.9-1.2m native the ground. The observer deserve to then lug out a detailed examination and at the same time evaluate the lateral displacement that teats. The final choice should be based top top a normal vulva, overall conformation and ease of activity to reduce the risk of foot weakness.

Recognising brewing disorders and feasible lactation failure

These should be identified at the onset and also the following procedures will certainly help:

The udder that every sow in ~ farrowing and also 12 to 24 hours afterwards should be palpated. The palm that the hand is placed over every gland through the teat in the centre and pressure used to a common gland to the suggest at which the sow simply responds. This standard is then provided to detect any type of abnormal pain and changes in texture to the other glands.The presence of oedema or fluid in the vulva or in the surface tissues in between the legs must be noted.A finger have to be pressed difficult into a gland to check out whether a tiny impression is left behind. If so this is further proof of the really early step of oedema. The first detectable alters are usually seen 4 to 6 hrs after farrowing but occasionally significant mastitis or epidemic of the gland would certainly be evident before farrowing in which situation inappetence and also failure come suckle room observed.The competent stockman or the veterinarian will recognise lactation failure by behavioural changes in the sow, lack of alertness and failure to lie over and also suckle. Influenced glands may be discoloured and also swollen.The sow may be off her food with a fever and laid on her belly.

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The very first indication of lactation failure is presented in the piglets by elevated hair, hollow flanks and they proactively seek food.