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:

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:     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

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