Milk systems mean less stress for piglets and humans

Published 24. February 2020

With the automatic, cost-effective Pump'n'Grow milk system, piglets thrive because they get enough milk and they can stay with the sow for longer.

There is a lot of pressure in the farrowing pen. Many sows deliver 18 - 20 piglets per farrowing, and it is hard for the sow to provide enough milk to feed them all. By installing a milk system, the farrowing pen becomes a much calmer environment for all involved; the sow, the piglets and the staff.

"Farmers use the Pump'n'Grow system because it is reliable, easy to use and does not require a large financial investment. When the milk system is installed, the sow can take care of more piglets. All the piglets get enough milk to meet their requirements for maximum growth" explains Emil Mortensen,Technical Supervisor (Pump'n'Grow)

"It only takes a couple of
hours to install the
Pump'n'Grow system
that is it!"

 Emil Mortensen

In a busy production unit, looking after nursing sows can take up a significant amount of time, and can involve moving piglets to ensure they receive enough milk. A milk system, such as Pump'n'Grow, takes pressure off the nursing sow. It also lowers the risk of infection because the piglets do not need to be moved around.

Piglet drinking from Pump'n'Grow Milk cup

Happy piglets mean heavier piglets
Mr. Mortensen has first-hand experience of seeing how quickly piglets learn to drink from the Pump'n'Grow milk cups on many farms where he helped with the system installation.

"I have seen groups of four or five piglets standing around the drinking cup in the first 24 hours of their life. Even the smallest piglets like drinking the milk. The piglets know exactly when the milk is flowing through the pipes!"

After the piglets have drunk the milk they require from the cups, they typically go back to the piglet cave, and the farrowing pen becomes calm.

Piglets are typically 1 kg heavier at weaning when a milk system is used in the farrowing pen compared to piglets without access to a milk system. If piglets weigh 1 kg more at weaning, they will typically be 3-4 kg heavier when leaving the nursery.

Pump'n'Grow your piglets
The Pump'n'Grow system from Agilia™ has been commercially available since 2017 and thousands of piglets have already enjoyed the additional milk delivered to them in the farrowing pen. Agilia™ has further developed the Pump'n'Grow system and now offers the fully-automatic system, Pump'n'Grow Fresh. Pump'n'Grow Fresh has already been installed on many production facilities across Denmark and rest of Europe with great results.

Feedback from Pump'n'Grow users:

  • The additional milk makes piglets stronger, allowing for reduced use of zinc and antibiotics
  • Sows can take care of an extra 1-2 piglets 
  • Sows wean an additional 2-4 piglets per year
  • Weaning weight of piglets is increased by 0.8 – 1.0 kg
  • Mortality is reduced by 2 – 6 percentage points
  • Feed costs are significantly lower from weaning to slaughter

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