Piglet mortalities

Piglet mortalities

The biggest percentage of piglet mortalities occurs during birth or within the first 72h of postnatal life. Promoting gut health during gestation and lactation phases ensures the sow transfers the best possible antibodies via colostrum. The environment should especially be kept dry to avoid bacterial contamination. Where possible one must work towards decreasing bacterial growth, lower ammonia emissions, and lower unpleasant smells without the use of disinfectant chemicals.

After birth, the piglets take a while to dry and warm up before being able to consume essential colostrum. It is therefore important to dry and warm up the piglets as fast as possible to decrease the interval between birth and first colostrum intake. If possible, the piglets will lose less energy trying to warm up, be more vigorous and therefore lead to an increase in the overall survival rate.

Causes of neonatal diarrhoea

The intestines of a new-born piglet are sterile, but quickly colonised by bacteria. Neonatal diarrhoea is caused by several different pathogens present on the farm, which could include Enterococcus, C. Perfringens, Rotavirus or E. Coli bacteria. The environment plays a key role: temperature, relative humidity, air quality, stress and ventilation should be managed properly. The clinical signs include impaired movement, dehydration, loose stool and disposition of the suckling reflex.

Signs of neonatal diarrhoea

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.

Factors that may influence performance and increased mortality rate

  • Negative environmental bacterial count and diarrhoea
  • Body heat regulation at birth and increased energy consumption
  • Weak colostrum quality and weak passive immunity
  • Low milk production
  • Slow drop-off rate of umbilical cords and increased infections


Through protecting the digestive tract, ensuring balanced gut microflora (passed on by sow), and maintaining homeostasis, it is possible to prevent neonatal diarrhoea by including Levucell SB, a specific live yeast for monogastric animals (Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079). 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 to improving gut efficiency for better nutrient absorption and utilisation.

The solution starts with good management of gestating and lactating sows, also ensuring fast and proper colostrum intake by means of faster drying of piglets. Mistral is more than a litter conditioner – it is a management tool for the environmental hygiene on farm. Mistral decreases the risks of sanitary problems and an application at birth will condition the rest of the piglet’s life.

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

  • Faster drying of piglets
  • Reduced weaning stress
  • Reduction of neonatal diarrhoea

  • 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
Why use Mistral? Mistral® has an unrivalled drying capacity, is gentle on...
Suitable for:
Environmental hygiene
Why use Bactocell? Bactocell is a unique probiotic solution for monogastric animals...
Suitable for:
Mikail Greyling

Mikail Greyling

Swine Development Manager