Purdue Pork Page Archive
Problems with start-ups
and conversions !
1) Farrowing rate problems in your
new SEW facilities?
- Many producers that build new SEW facilities
or producers that convert old facilities and increase herd size are experiencing
farrowing rates 10 to 30% below expectations.
2) Is the reduction caused by reproductive
- If so, you can expect to observe abortions, sick
sows, premature births, increases in stillborn pigs, vaginal discharges
and mummified fetuses. All or some of these signs can be seen visibly or
in your records.
3) Is the reduction caused by increased
use of AI or due to breeding management?
- Check your records (no producer should be using
SEW technology without records). If the farrowing rate of gilts is normal,
then the problem is not breeding failure.
4) Is the cause due to improper
nutrition of the breeding herd?
Check body condition of the gilts and weaned
sows. If body condition is good- not too fat or too thin, then the problem
is not energy intake. Be sure you are using quality ingredients. Be sure
your corn is mold free.
Check the wean-to-estrus interval in your records.
If you are feeding your lactating sows properly and have the correct amount
of lysine (~55gm\day\sow), the wean-to-estrus interval will average <6
5) Is the cause early weaning (average
13-15 days, range 10 to 18 days)?
- Yes, farrowing rate and littersize are both reduced
by early weaning. This effect is particularly evident in parity 1 and 2
females in the summer months and can be exacerbated by breeding gilts at
first estrus or younger than 200 days of age. Generally, in start up herds
or facility conversions, young females make up a large proportion of the
herd. Thus, early weaning has a profound effect on farrowing rate\litter
size and herd performance in general. As a response to the poor performance,
producers fire people, do extensive diagnostic work, give up on AI, change
genetics, change nutrition or feed sources and grasp at straws and other
sources of Foo Foo dust.
6) What should you do?
- Realize that reduced reproductive performance
is expected in start up SEW facilities. Do not plan for the same reproductive
performance as you achieved with your old herd until your herd matures.
Assure yourself that the cause of your problem does not involve any of
the above 4 listed categories. Then:
- a) consider skipping the first estrus after weaning
for all parity 1 females; this requires 2 additional groups of gilts,
- b) consider injecting all females with Vit A
palmitate at weaning, and
- c) consider injecting all parity 1 and thin parity
2 females with PG-600 at weaning.
- Do at least a and b or b and c until your herd
has matured (reached an average parity of 3.0).
Purdue Pork page Archive