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PART 1 OF 3: THE NEED TO DOUBLE CLICK ON REPRODUCTIVE FITNESS TO MAKE MORE INFORMED DECISIONS

Published on June 1, 2020 on FeedStuffs.com and NationalHogFarmer.com

With the swine industry backed up with market-ready pigs due to reduced processing throughput, it’s hard to think ahead to 2021 when the challenges of today are so very real. However, there will be future opportunities when we return to a new normal and the world demands its favorite protein. As we think forward, it’s important to plan for, measure and manage the details that will impact how much opportunity we can capture in the future. Should I cull sows, and if so, which ones? How can I have more pigs to sell in 2021 with fewer sows? In a series of discussions over the next few months, we will double click on sow reproductive fitness and critically evaluate what good looks like. READ THE FULL STORY >

 


PART 2 OF 3: MEASURING AND MANAGING SOW REPRODUCTIVE FITNESS

Published on July 1, 2020 on FeedStuffs.com and NationalHogFarmer.com

Evaluating the weaning to first service interval (WTFSI) and looking for ways to shorten this nonproductive period in sows is not new.  However, a delay of just three days can have a huge impact on farrowing rate (8-10 point reduction) and subsequent total born (1 less pig).  We detailed this significant impact in a previous article published here a month ago.  Since that publication, individuals have reached out to not only better understand how to improve the wean to first service distribution (WTFSD) in their system, but also to understand how they can use this metric as a measurement to evaluate the efficacy or impact of new technologies and procedures.   If we can measure 1) which sows are getting bred past day 5 postweaning, and 2) what efforts influence this percentage of sows, then we can truly manage sows toward the reproductive fitness that drives optimal profitability. READ THE FULL STORY >

 


PART 3 OF 3: WHAT IS THAT SOW COSTING ME?

Published on August 1, 2020 on FeedStuffs.com

With the continued look at Wean to First Service Interval (WTFSI), it is understood that the normal biological response for a properly conditioned wean sow is to be in standing estrus 3-5-days after weaning, ideally on day 4.  In general, most production systems utilize performance monitoring systems that report the WTFSI on a 7 day average, which leaves many unknowns as to what is occurring inside this window of time. The average is constantly moving back and forth and when subsequent farrowing occurs, we are left guessing why farrowing rate and total born are going up and down.  In two previous articles, we discussed the distribution of which days sows come into heat within this interval (WTFSD), why it’s important, and how to look at which sows are falling out of this target window of 3-5 days.  In Fig. 1 below, the significant impact of slipping from day 4 to day 7 for a first breeding is clearly shown.  One can easily see how this makes day 4 the most optimal day to have the first service on sows, but only if the sow is in the appropriate body condition and biologically prepared to do so. READ THE FULL STORY >


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