Hyperprolific sow


What is hyperprolificy?

Genetic selection for higher prolificacy is one of the major causes for a decrease in piglet survival and reproductive health of the sow. Large litters increase farrowing duration and decrease piglet birth weight and therefore have an impact on piglet vitality, colostrum uptake, and piglet survival. Large litters also increase the incidence of postpartum dysgalactia syndrome (PDS) and the probability of the sow to be removed from the herd because of reproductive failure. Therefore, hyper-prolificacy challenges the performance of the sow in terms of parturition, colostrum production, neonatal survival, and fertility.

Agalactia: low milk production and decreased colostrum quality

Colostrum plays a critical role in the overall health and vitality of new-born piglets. The antibodies present in colostrum as well as the milk of the sow protects the piglet against pathogenic bacteria that can colonize in the gut of the new-born piglet. Due to selection programs and advances in pig genetics that focus on increased litter size, it is important that the sow can produce enough colostrum and milk for all the piglets born. However, some hyper-prolific sows don’t adapt their colostrum production to the number of piglets in the litter. Therefore, as the litter size increases the colostrum concentration per piglet is far less. Through improving the immune properties of colostrum by increasing immunoglobulin concentrations as well as stimulating feed intake during the lactation phase, it will allow for more efficient colostrum and milk production which will promote piglet performance in the pre-weaning phase.

Signs of agalactia

1. Behaviour

Constant stimulation on a non-productive teat is often painful for the sow. In some cases, this is reflected in the sow’s behaviour: they become nervous, with rough movements and sometimes will be aggressive towards their own piglets.

2. Visible marks

Dirty foreheads and lesions on the knees are the result of piglets trying to latch onto the teats of a sow which are not accessible if she is lying on her belly.

3. Body lesions

In extreme cases of agalactia piglets move around and climb over each other to such an extent that body lesions can appear.

4. Dirty piglets

Restless piglets looking for nourishment are not able to find teats with sufficient milk, therefore they move around more than normal. Malnourished appearance and fatigue.

5. Morphology

The appearance of weak and small piglets within the litter as a direct and obvious consequence of poor nutrition due to hypogalactia.

Weak piglets

Low milk production

Good milk production


A specific approach has been designed for the gestation and lactation phases.  The sow’s ability to produce sufficient milk is directly linked to feed intake.   The unique mode of action of Levucell SB, the world leading monogastric live yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079, developed by Lallemand Animal Nutrition, will help prevent a partial inactive udder.  Prevention of agalactia will ensure sufficient milk for each piglet. On farms where liquid feeding is the preferred method for delivering feed, Bactocell is the answer to establishing a positive biofilm in the feeding system and improve gut efficiency for better nutrient absorption and utilisation.

A constant obstacle for swine nutritionists is to source a good quality fibre for sows. Opticell C2 is a source of fermentable and non-fermentable dietary fibre to deliver a consistent and balanced diet.  

Levucell SB
  • Specific live yeast for monogastric animals (Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079)
  • 3 stage mode of action:
    1. Regulation of intestinal microflora
    2. Improves gut integrity
    3. Anti-inflammatory and immune properties

Opticell C2
  • Improved gut health and faecal quality
  • Improves satiety
  • Reduction of ammonia excretion
  • Improved sow and piglet performance

  • Probiotic
  • Establishment of a positive biofilm in liquid feeding systems
  • Improved feed efficiency
  • Balancing microflora
  • Improve gut maturity and integrity
  • Enhance natural defences during stress
Levucell SB 20
Levucell SB-img
Why use Levucell SB 20? Levucell SB 20 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii...
Suitable for:
Gut health | Probiotics
Opticell® C2
OptiCell C2_1
Why use Opticell® C2? Opticell® C2 is an innovative and safe ingredient...
Suitable for:
Gut health
Why use Bactocell? Bactocell is a unique probiotic solution for monogastric animals...
Suitable for:
Mikail Greyling

Mikail Greyling

Swine Development Manager