Part I of III: Productive females are the cornerstone to a successful sow farm. It is critical for a system to have a strong sow feeding program.
In this episode of The Squeal, Fred Kuhr, Production Supervisor at Dykhuis Farms; Sergio Canavate, Ph.D., PIC Technical Services Director Applied Female Reproduction, and Carine Vier, PIC Global Nutrition Specialist, talk about sow body condition management.
What you will learn: The five steps to implement a successful sow feeding program:
- Assessing sow body condition
- Selecting quality gilts and sows for breeding
- Organizing weaning and breeding rows
- Adjusting and calibrating sow feeders
- Recording and using sow body condition data
Employees are key to implementing a sow feeding program
Canavate: Take employee feedback into consideration. They are implementing the feeding program every single day. They are seeing the sows gaining weight and losing weight. We need to listen to the sow farm employees, and we need to hear them because they are implementing the program.
Body condition scoring is the first step to a productive sow farm
Vier: Other than reproduction and health, sow body condition would come up in the top three on my list of factors that will result in a successful sow herd.
Changes in sow farm efficiency take time
Purvis: The hardest thing for me to learn was, once I got sows in good body condition, how come I don’t see the payback? The answer is that it takes time. It takes 40 weeks, in my opinion. You can see a sow that looks good before 40 weeks, but you won’t see the improvement in total pigs born. You won’t see the farrowing rate paybacks until you get to 40 weeks.
Download the PIC Sow Feeding Program Implementation Tool here.