Interpretive Summary: Intravenous infusion of glucose improved farrowing performance of hyperprolific crossbred sows
By Anne Zinn
A major factor for maximizing sow productivity is a reduction in stillborn piglets; the majority of stillborn piglets die during the birth process because of successive uterine contractions and ruptured umbilical cord, and it was recently discovered that the farrowing duration was negatively impact by the level of plasma glucose at the onset of farrowing. A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science took this a step further by investigating whether intravenous infusion of glucose from observed nest-building behavior to 24 hours postpartum would affect the farrowing kinetics and colostrum production in sows. The research team hypothesized that a constant intravenous infusion of glucose from the first sign of parturition until 24 hours after farrowing would ensure proper energy in sows where glucose homeostasis is challenged due to only one daily meal.
Results of the present study demonstrated that infusion of glucose reduced the frequency of stillbirth rate and farrowing assistance, which indicates that glucose homeostasis is important for a successful farrowing. Results also indicated that the improved energy status of the sow seems to be a crucial trait to enhance total piglet survival. Further research is necessary for a better understanding of the improvements achieved using glucose infusion and to implement the findings in a more practical, applicable, and consumer acceptable way.