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Influence of supplementary iron in late pregnancy on the performance of sows and litters
  1. HJ Guise and
  2. RH Penny
  1. Cambac JMA Research Ltd, Unit 4, Woodcote, Reading.


On eight farms alternate sows and gilts within three weeks of their expected farrowing date were injected intramuscularly in the neck with 8 ml of an iron (gleptoferron) preparation containing 200 mg iron/ml, or kept as uninjected controls. Data from 513 iron-injected and 488 control animals were used in the analysis of results. Small, but not statistically significant, improvements were observed in the numbers of piglets born alive and dead/litter, the birth weights and weaning weights at three weeks, the numbers of piglets fostered on and off/litter, piglet mortality, the number weaned/litter and the weaning to service interval. The condition scores of the iron-injected sows were marginally below those of the controls at weaning, but their condition scores at farrowing had also been slightly below those of the controls. A summation of these trends would suggest an overall benefit of approximately 0.45 pigs/sow/year in favour of the iron-injected sows.

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