The Challenges of Sustainable Pig farming

Proper piglet care is crucial to the success of any pig production operation. At this delicate stage of life, maximizing piglet nutrition and piglet performance is paramount. Moreover, pig producers at all stages of the production chain are facing challenges such as:

  • Cost-effective production of a high-quality product
  • Higher animal welfare standards to meet animal needs and consumer demands
  • Tackling antimicrobial resistance  and supporting antibiotic reduction by reserving antibiotics for necessary medical treatments only
  • Minimizing the impact of pork production on the environment

Three Pillar Piglet Care Program

dsm-firmenich - THE transformational partner of choice to accelerate your piglet vision of health and welfare

Addressing these concerns while improving piglet health and reducing piglet mortality requires a multi-faceted approach.

At dsm-firmenich, we partner with you to help you transform the health and welfare of your piglets. Our local swine experts will work with you to co-create programs tailor-made to your objectives, your concerns, and your market, all utilizing our approaches to prepare, protect and support resilience of your piglets. With innovative and proven nutritional solutions and services, we are dedicated to helping secure your future. 


Immune competency development

Immune competence is a natural and cost-efficient way to take a preventive approach to maximize piglet health and piglet nutrition. However, many factors can compromise a piglet’s immune system: 

  • Low birth weight. Improvement in prolificacy has led to an increase in the number of piglets with low birth weight and piglets that have been subjected to intra-uterine growth retardation (low birth weight < 1 kg).
  • Large litters. A large litter size can mean a longer farrowing duration, which can lead to less IgG in the blood. This can result in less robust piglets with lower immunity.
  • Nutritional adaptation of sow feed. The content and quality of sow feed can influence vitamin status of piglets at birth and weaning. This impacts their immune acquisition and has a significant impact on the robustness and the maturity of piglets.
  • Improper microbial colonization. Because 70% of immune cells are in the gut, early microbial colonization of the piglet gut plays a key role in immune competence development.

Our approach

Our multi-faceted approach starts by targeting piglet immune competency via early microbial colonization of the gut and systemic immune transfer from sows to piglets. With our alternative nutritional solutions via sow’s nutrition, milk replacers and creep feed, we can help produce the heaviest and strongest piglets at weaning by developing immune competence.


Webinar Series: PREPARE - Immune Competency Development

Watch Part 1 of the Shaping the Future of Piglet Care webinar series, and learn how to prepare your piglets for a bright future by optimizing immune competency development. Three leading experts discuss how to optimize piglet immune competency development via two paths, systemically via sow nutrition and locally via microbiome shaping. 


Optimizing gastrointestinal functionality

Gut functionality is a key target during the acute phase of weaning to help meet antibiotic reduction goals.  There are several common reasons why piglets’ gut functionality could be compromised:

  • Stress. Weaning is accompanied by an acute period of stress, which is characterized by a drop in feed intake. The decrease in feed intake and the change from milk to feed modifies the gut ecosystem and architecture.
  • Bacteria. Opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria can dominate and cause piglet diarrhea if not controlled.
  • Developmental stage. At weaning, piglets are immature and their enzymatic capacity to degrade fiber and to digest protein and starch is not fully developed.
  • Anti-nutrients. Piglets are particularly sensitive to anti-nutrients coming from feed, but also from dead bacterial cell wall components and contamination of raw materials by mycotoxins.

Our approach

Supporting the healthy functioning of the gut is the second step in our approach. This step focuses on deactivating negative anti-nutrients in feed and reducing their effects on the gut thus helps to avoid piglet leaky gut, reduce local inflammation and tackle Gram-negative bacteria.

We propose dedicated nutritional solutions via piglet feed, with optimum feed recommendations and formulation coupled with anti-nutrient quantity evaluation (e.g., fiber, phytate, mycotoxins, etc.) to avoid gut dysfunctions such as piglet diarrhea.

Piglet Gastrointestinal Functionality

For producers to raise healthy pigs and to avoid the use of antibiotics, optimal gastrointestinal functionality, are critical.


Webinar: Protect Piglets: Strategies to Optimize Gut Function

Watch Pig Progress webinar on-demand. Our speakers discuss the topic of optimizing gastrointestinal functionality of piglets in relation to sow health & its effect on progeny, the role of sanitary conditions and protein nutrition in piglet gut health and how precision approaches to nutrition and health can support better production outcomes.


Webinar Series: PROTECT – Optimizing Gastrointestinal Functionality

Watch Part 2 of the Shaping the Future of Piglet Care webinar series on-demand. Our speakers discuss optimizing gastrointestinal functionality through a combined approach of deactivating anti-nutrients, both from the feed and the gut microbiome.

Support Resilience

Optimizing digestive efficiency

Optimized digestive efficiency and nutrient supply is critical to shorten the growth lag post-weaning and support genetic potential. Early performance during the post-weaning period affects overall swine performance and production cost. Our goals are to:

  • Shorten the acute phase of weaning. Shortening the acute phase of weaning and supporting a rapid return to optimum performance (resilience), is critical to economic interests.
  • Maximize nutrient availability. Growth potential and muscle deposition are high during the starter period and are directly linked to the availability of digestible nutrients.
  • Boost digestive efficiency. This allows piglets to access more digestible nutrients and is a must for optimizing piglet performance and enabling them to reach their genetic potential.

Our approach

We help pigs perform closer to their genetic potential by shortening the resilience period.  To do this, we optimize digestive efficiency by unlocking feed nutrients that enhance growth, health and cost efficiency.

Our nutritional solutions support growth, piglet health and cost efficiency by using optimal and intelligent digestibility enhancers to help you get the most out of piglet feed ingredients and reduce gut inflammation due to antigens from feed.


Webinar Series: SUPPORT RESILIENCE – Enhancing Digestive Efficiency

Watch Part 3 of the Shaping the Future of Piglet Care webinar series on-demand. Our speakers discuss enhancing digestive efficiency and closing the gap between genetic potential and actual production performance.