One of the easiest ways to minimize cost on a sow farm is to increase the number of pigs weaned per sow. There are many factors that determine how many pigs will be weaned for each sow such as genetics, day one pig care, and average birth weight of piglets. However, total born is arguably the most important factor in the equation. Below are some key strategies to focus on that will help you get the most out of your sows each time they farrow.
Maximize feed consumption during lactation
- Maximizing feed consumption during lactation is directly correlated with milk output and with increased total born on the next litter.
- A good target would be averaging 13 to 15 pounds of lactation feed intake per day per sow (depending on your genetics and length of lactation).
- The industry still remains at a 21-day average across the board.
- Breeding early-weaned sows on their first heat can be very detrimental to your total born numbers.
- Sows require a minimum of 17 to 18 days of lactation to achieve optimal total born on their next farrowing.
- An obvious point that often gets overlooked.
- Maintaining good body condition is extremely difficult on younger parity animals as they tend to have the largest litters after fostering while still growing and maturing themselves.
- It’s best practice to full-feed in the farrowing house as well as full-feed low body condition sows until first service.
- Lower body condition animals should not be bred until they have regained the condition lost during lactation.
- Do not move sows from Day 5 to Day 35 post breeding.
- Movements during this time can cause the newly formed fetuses to detach from the uterine wall.
- Semen needs to be delivered at least 6-8 hours prior to ovulation. If it’s not, the late timing of insemination can lower farrowing rates and result in fewer total born pigs.
- Rotate semen twice a day—morning and afternoon.
- Utilize freshly collected semen and avoid using semen that is greater than 5 days old.
- Maintain semen in a refrigerator at 63 degrees Fahrenheit— record refrigerator temperature morning and afternoon.
- Only take the amount of semen you need out to the barn with you—don’t let it sit around too long.
MetaFarms sow data for Q4 2019
The Q4 2019 MetaFarms Sow Production Index is based on MetaFarms Sow customers only. Data has been scrubbed and made anonymous to protect confidentiality. Data sources are from pork producers using the MetaFarms Platform, and represents over 360 sow farms located in both the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Keep in mind that Sow performance is for the time period of October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Each metric is ranked independently against the others. Over 35 sow farms make up the Top 10%/Bottom 10% with nearly 295 as the average.
MetaFarms production index Q4 2019
The Q4 2019 MetaFarms Production Index is based on closeout performance for nursery, finishing and wean-to-finish groups and how they compare with the same period last year. Data has been scrubbed and made anonymous to protect confidentiality. Data sources are from pork producers using the MetaFarms Platform and represents over 500 pork production companies located in both the US and Canada. Nursery data includes over 2,000 closeouts, finishing data includes over 2,400 closeouts and more than 900 single stocked wean-to-finish closeouts.
Keep in mind that nursery groups closed in Q4 started on feed between July and November, finishing groups started on feed in April through September and wean-to-finish groups started on feed in March through July.
Family of the year – The Hugosons
Swine Vet Center would like to congratulate the Hugoson family, this year’s recipients of the “Family of the Year” Award at the 2020 Minnesota Pork Congress. This award honors a pork producing family who has contributed to the long term success of the industry through leadership and pork promotion on both the local and state levels. The Hugosons are a 5th generation farm family. Their farm was homesteaded in 1888 by Kevin’s great grandparents who immigrated from Sweden.
Thanks for your service—Reuben Bode
Courtland, Minnesota native Reuben Bode will be retiring from the Minnesota Pork Board. Reuben has served on the Minnesota Pork Board Executive Board for the last seven years. For two of those years, Reuben served as Chairman of the Board. Swine Vet Center would like to recognize Reuben for his years of serving the Minnesota pork industry. Thank you!
For more information, visit www.swinevetcenter.com
No portion of this newsletter may be used/copied without written consent of Swine Vet Center