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Factors for improving reproductive performance of sows and herd productivity in commercial breeding herds

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

We review critical factors associated with reproductive performance of female breeding pigs, their lifetime performance and herd productivity in commercial herds. The factors include both sow-level and herd-level factors. High risk sow-level groups for decreasing reproductive performance of female pigs are low or high parity, increased outdoor temperature, decreased lactation feed intake, single inseminations, increased lactation length, prolonged weaning-to-first-mating interval, low birth weight or low preweaning growth rate, a few pigs born alive at parity 1, an increased number of stillborn piglets, foster-in or nurse sow practices and low or high age at first-mating. Also, returned female pigs are at risk having a recurrence of returning to estrus, and female pigs around farrowing are more at risk of dying. Herd-level risk groups include female pigs being fed in low efficiency breeding herds, late insemination timing, high within-herd variability in pig flow, limited numbers of farrowing spaces and fluctuating age structure. To maximize the reproductive potential of female pigs, producers are recommended to closely monitor females in these high-risk groups and improve herd management. Additionally, herd management and performance measurements in high-performing herds should be targeted.

No MeSH data available.


Example of a productivity tree for 40 pigs weaned per sow per year
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Fig1: Example of a productivity tree for 40 pigs weaned per sow per year

Mentions: The number of pigs weaned per sow per year (PWSY) [1] is commonly used as a benchmarking measurement to compare the productivity of breeding herds, either between herds in a country or between countries. The target values for PWSY have increased from 20 to 30 pigs over the last three decades, and it is likely that genetics and sow management can increase PWSY up to 30–40 pigs in the future (Fig. 1). However, even though PWSY is a good measurement for herd productivity in the short term, it is not the best measurement for sow longevity, nor a good measurement for piglet quality or welfare of piglets and sows. There is serious concern that herds with high PWSY may produce many runts or small piglets. The increase in numbers of pigs born alive (PBA), up to 20.3 pigs as shown in Fig. 1, means that the birth weight of piglets is getting lower and also that some light piglets are not able to receive enough colostrum from the sow. This is a problem because lower colostrum intake and lighter birth weights have been associated with a higher preweaning mortality and poorer post weaning growth performance [2]. So piglet quality and welfare may be compromised when sow prolificacy is genetically increased to such a high level, unless genetic improvements are directed to increasing the uterine capacity, the number of functional teats and milk production in sows.Fig. 1


Factors for improving reproductive performance of sows and herd productivity in commercial breeding herds
Example of a productivity tree for 40 pigs weaned per sow per year
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382409&req=5

Fig1: Example of a productivity tree for 40 pigs weaned per sow per year
Mentions: The number of pigs weaned per sow per year (PWSY) [1] is commonly used as a benchmarking measurement to compare the productivity of breeding herds, either between herds in a country or between countries. The target values for PWSY have increased from 20 to 30 pigs over the last three decades, and it is likely that genetics and sow management can increase PWSY up to 30–40 pigs in the future (Fig. 1). However, even though PWSY is a good measurement for herd productivity in the short term, it is not the best measurement for sow longevity, nor a good measurement for piglet quality or welfare of piglets and sows. There is serious concern that herds with high PWSY may produce many runts or small piglets. The increase in numbers of pigs born alive (PBA), up to 20.3 pigs as shown in Fig. 1, means that the birth weight of piglets is getting lower and also that some light piglets are not able to receive enough colostrum from the sow. This is a problem because lower colostrum intake and lighter birth weights have been associated with a higher preweaning mortality and poorer post weaning growth performance [2]. So piglet quality and welfare may be compromised when sow prolificacy is genetically increased to such a high level, unless genetic improvements are directed to increasing the uterine capacity, the number of functional teats and milk production in sows.Fig. 1

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

We review critical factors associated with reproductive performance of female breeding pigs, their lifetime performance and herd productivity in commercial herds. The factors include both sow-level and herd-level factors. High risk sow-level groups for decreasing reproductive performance of female pigs are low or high parity, increased outdoor temperature, decreased lactation feed intake, single inseminations, increased lactation length, prolonged weaning-to-first-mating interval, low birth weight or low preweaning growth rate, a few pigs born alive at parity 1, an increased number of stillborn piglets, foster-in or nurse sow practices and low or high age at first-mating. Also, returned female pigs are at risk having a recurrence of returning to estrus, and female pigs around farrowing are more at risk of dying. Herd-level risk groups include female pigs being fed in low efficiency breeding herds, late insemination timing, high within-herd variability in pig flow, limited numbers of farrowing spaces and fluctuating age structure. To maximize the reproductive potential of female pigs, producers are recommended to closely monitor females in these high-risk groups and improve herd management. Additionally, herd management and performance measurements in high-performing herds should be targeted.

No MeSH data available.