New solution to decrease pre-weaning mortality

Despite improved neonatal pig care, pre-weaning mortality is still a significant challenge. If sows are healthy and comfortable, it makes sense to focus on the piglet to reduce losses.

October 6, 2016

2 Min Read
New solution to decrease pre-weaning mortality
<p>Research done by Tonisity demonstrates the effectiveness of an isotonic protein drink to increase piglet vitality, which reduces mortality and improves weight gain. </p>

The 2015 Pork Industry Productivity Analysis shows that pre-weaning mortality actually has trended upward since 2012, hitting a high of 20.5% in 2014. The same research shows that even among the top 25% of sow producers, pre-weaning mortality is still above 13%.

To address this issue, Tonisity has conducted more than 27 trials involving more than 760 litters and 9,600 pigs on production farms in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain. Key findings from those trials have shown that Px has a positive impact on pre-weaning mortality and post-weaning weight.

Effect of Px on pre-weaning mortality and post-weaning weight

Objective: Determine the effect of Px on pre-weaning mortality and post-weaning weight when given to suckling pigs from Days 2-8 of age.

The study was conducted in a farrow-to-nursery operation with 7,200 sows located in Iowa.

  • Average live-born of 12.8 pigs

  • Historic pre-weaning mortality of 13%-14%

  • Negative for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome at time of trial

  • Seventy-three sows and litters (968 piglets) were enrolled

Method: Sows and their litters were randomized to one of two groups. On Day 2 of life, piglets were ear tagged and weighed with no statistical difference in weight. Litters in the Px group received 500 mL of Px in an open pan, once daily, from Day 2-8 of life while the control group received no additional supplementation; all piglets had access to an automatic drinker. The amount of Px consumed was recorded daily along with mortalities and apparent cause of death. Pigs were weighed at Day 2, Day 8, at weaning (approximately Day 19) and at Day 35.


Pre-weaning mortality was significantly lower in the Px group; 10.3% compared to the control group of 15.0% (P=0.029).

Weight gain was significantly higher in the Px group during the first week of life (3.4 pounds versus 2.75 pounds) and again at Day 35 (21.6 pounds versus 19.3 pounds).

Trial conclusions: Px supplementation reduced pre-weaning mortality by 33% and had a clear impact on weight gain in the first week of life, and by Day 35, differences in body weight and average daily gain were significantly different between groups. Contrary to accepted practice, baby pigs less than one week old will enthusiastically drink sufficient volumes of Tonisity Px.

For more information about this study or to request a sample of Tonisity Px, visit or call 800-877-9917.

Tonisity and Tonisity Px are trademarks of Tonisity International Limited.
©2016 Tonisity International Limited. 

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