Economics and Welfare of Sow and Gilt Seminar March 8, 2006
David Stender, Swine Field Specialist, Northwest
Animal welfare has become a larger issue in pork production recently-- handling, developing gilts and managing sows requires proper skills for the welfare of the animal as well as fro sound reproductive performance. Todays leaner more muscular pork is an increasing challenge to manage reproductively. If entering gilts are not developed properly, reproduction failure is common. On March 8, 55 producers looking to improve skills in handling and management of their breeding herds attended a seminar in northwest Iowa. Participants were asked to measure their improvement in knowledge and skills by filling out a post seminar survey. Thirty participants filled out the survey, they have control over or influence production for 281,430 sows. A significant portion of swine production in northwest Iowa was in attendance at this workshop.
Twenty-eight surveys were filled out, the results that participants reported are as follows:
A few examples of the most important ideas learned by producers from the seminar include:
- In the area of reproductive management, 100% reported at least some benefit, 46% report a fair amount and 21% said they received quite a bit of information.
- The talk outlining methods to induce and control estrus was helpful to everybody, 36% reported a fair amount and 18% report quite a bit of advantage from the information.
- 100% of the participants reported at least some benefit for the discussion on gilt development.
- 86% said the animal welfare and handling was beneficial.
- 96% reported benefit from the discussion of swine production in Denmark.
- 93% benefited by the economic discussion of the value of a non-productive sow day.
- Overall program was rated at least some benefit by 100% of the participants.
Impact on gilt development; Safranskis - several ideas good speaker; Benefits of PG600; The Danish system, and cross fostering replacement gilts; One of the greatest input in a sow farm is people which effects heat detection, NPDs, getting to 30 p/s/y = people. We heard from all speakers that people will make or break these results. Was surprised that Dr. Johnsons topic didnt show more adverse production from how the sow was reared or treated; Keeping the gilt pool @ a good capacity; Boar exposure importance gilts sows; 6-8 pigs/litter for gilt development; Unique features of Denmarks System; Reminded to stimulate sow or gilt when breeding; Excellent information and topics all through the day; Very good seminar; The effect of a non productive sow a day in a year; Benefits of PG600; Details on uses of various estrus induction & control drugs; Additional effects of specific AI practices to improve performance; Key points in detecting estrus; Gilt estrus; Picked up some little things with heat detection; Weaning through multiple sows and putting gilts on a single sow with smaller numbers; In the A. I. area, heat synchronization, open days mean dollars; Confirmation of what I know; When is the best time to preg check, ultra-sound.
The following are some examples of impact to operations referred to by producers, as they plan to apply ideas learned at the conference:
- Raising of replacement gilts.
- Heat checking before preg check.
- Planning to spend more time with employees with how they can change the sow personality.
- Keep bigger boars.
- Stimulate breeding more and make sure to feed lactation sows better, and more often, maybe.
- Replacement gilts perform better when raised in smaller litter sizes.
- Breeding taking care of animals, especially when we move them.
- Hopefully gilt selection criteria becomes stricter, use PG600.
- Improve flow of replacement gilts.
- Use older V-boars for exposure.
- Methods of stimulating gilts.
- Hard boar contact.
- Watch gilt selection and estrus closer.
- Gilt selection.
- Increase micron size of gilt feed.
- Handling of gilts.
- Timing of heat checking.
- More A.I. with lack of fear, more ideas on how to get gilts in heat at right time.
- Re-focus on specifics.
- Better timing of ultra-sound.
Some producers made an estimate of the production operational value from this meeting: One reply stated It has large value. ($100 or less n=1); ($100 $1,000 n=4); ($1,000 2,500 n=5); ($2,500 - $5,000 n=4); ($5,000 - $10,000 n=1).
April 6, 2006
108 - Iowa Pork Industry Center
Page last updated:
July 9, 2006
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