ColfaPig - Helping you Seize the Opportunity

7th June 2019

Canadian author Catherine DeVyre is quoted as saying "the opportunity of a lifetime must be grasped in the lifetime of that opportunity" and it appears that opportunity could be just around the corner for pig producers, so get ready.

With tightening global pork supply and price rises starting to be seen across Europe, it is up to us as producers to maximise the opportunity. One way that you can do that is via ColfaPig, which has been shown to deliver more piglets weaned and increased weaning and 10 week weights, allowing you to get more pigs through your unit quicker than before.

What is ColfaPig?

ColfaPig is a product for sows which consists of a specific mix of encapsulated short and medium chain fatty acids developed through 5 years of research that has been shown to:

  • Increase fat and immunoglobulin production in sows colostrum,
  • Increase piglet weaning weight
  • Increase piglet viability, delivering an extra half piglet per sow.

The Science

Immunoglobulins are described in the Oxford Dictionary as proteins present in the serum and cells of the immune system, which function as antibodies. Given that initial protection for disease is passed through the colostrum in the first 24 hours via these immunoglobulins, the more we can provide the piglet, the better the chance they have of survival. ColfaPig was shown to increase 3 of these:

  • IgG is the most clinically important immunoglobulin during the first week of life and represents between 80 and 85% of total immunoglobulins in serum and colostrum. It is the most important antibody in secondary response.
  • IgA is the most important immunoglobulin in regard to mucosa activity and lactation. It prevents the attachment of antigens in gut walls and neutralizes the activity of some viruses, both inside and outside the epithelium cells, therefore is vital for helping prevent diarrhoea during the neonatal period
  • IgM is the first antibody produced after an immune response and is essential for the primary response upon exposure to an antigen.

Through work carried out in conjunction with Queen's University Belfast we conducted proteomics research, which measures the expression of genes through proteins. The results showed a down regulation (decrease) in milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) proteins which are responsible for the change in the membrane around the fat in colostrum. By breaking down the membrane, the MFGM's reduce the amount of fat in colostrum. The downregulation in these means they are not as efficient at breaking membranes of fat globules so the fat stays in the colostrum, supporting the analysis that showed there was more fat in the colostrum (30% increase) of sows fed ColfaPig.

Why invest in ColfaPig in your diet?

ColfaPig costs approximately 35 pence per pig, but the results show a benefit of £4.50 - 5.00 per pig, representing a significant return on investment. That is before any potential price rises appear in the market.

Additionally, previous research has shown that piglets that had gained an extra 500g by weaning finished a week earlier, meaning that you can get more pigs through the system in the same accommodation space and improve your bottom line.

Ask yourself this: Can you maximise the opportunity without ColfaPig?

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