Colostrum, food for life: optimising use in pigs – AHDB

30 Jan 2019

Colostrum is secreted from the udder immediately after farrowing and within several
hours its composition changes to that representing sow milk. Colostrum contains
essential antibodies (immunoglobulins) for the health of the newborn piglet;
antibodies are produced by the body to kill bacteria and viruses. The piglet is born
with very few of the protecting antibodies necessary to thrive and relies on the sow’s
colostrum to obtain them in the defence against bacteria and viruses.
Colostrum is a rich source of highly digestible nutrients, which are critical to establishing
the newly born piglet and studies indicate that colostrum contains natural growth factors
for the normal development of vital life-sustaining organs (eg brain, heart, pancreas, liver
and kidneys) and the immature gut.


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