The Importance of Water and Pig Nipples
Quality and good of pigs depends on the effective water management which is most time neglected or are not taken into consideration by pig farmers.
Research recorded about 82% of the body weight of piglets at birth is water and even at market size, water still contain about 51% of the body weight.
At early weeks of birth, piglets take milk alone from the sow but start taking water after the second week of birth which often times are from stagnant water that are bacteria host and oxygen combine with water molecule of the stagnant water to become a source of bacterial infections. Therefore it is important that water to be given to piglets should be disinfected before use.
From research it has been discovered that piglets’ feed intake increases with high intake of clean water at the early stage of development. Pigs drink 3 times of water than their feeding and most times depending on the climatic conditions. Some sows at farrowing stage can take up to 20 liters of water daily.
When a sow shows some of the following symptoms it shows that the sow is suffering from insufficient water intake; constipation (indigestion), difficulty in standing up, reduced feed intake (lack of appetite) etc.
It is therefore very important to take the following into consideration when selecting drinking system; temperature, environment, housing system, feed and pig weight. For proper development, adequate water supply should be at temperature below 200C (68F).
Adequate drinking opportunities should be given to make it possible for all the piglets both strong and the weak ones their strength varies .Therefore nipple drinkers should be sufficiently provided for the piglets so that they can have full access to water at all times.
Nipples should be placed or positioned about 5cm above the shoulder of the pigs.
Water is the most neglected pig nutrition and it is one of the most needed for profitable raising of pigs.