Part III of III: One of the most important components of a successful sow feeding program is understanding the tools that are available to evaluate progress. In this episode of The Squeal, Ning Lu, Ph.D., PIC Nutrition Specialist, and Juan Orozco, PIC Technical Services Manager, introduce and discuss the tools that PIC has developed to help customers implement successful sow feeding programs and optimize sow productivity.
What you will learn about the PIC sow feeding program implementation tool
This simple, downloadable tool will show you exactly what PIC recommends for your gilt and sow feeding levels during gestation. It will also indicate four critical time points for collecting sow body condition scores to support a successful sow feeding program at:
- Pregnancy check
- Day 90
What are common challenges when implementing a sow feeding program on-farm?
Orozco: Challenges tend to include a lack of consistency in monitoring or following the program. Many times, a person will do the sow body condition score evaluation for a few weeks, but at some point, they are unable to do it, and the inconsistency starts over. A second challenge is that you can start evaluating the body conditions, but if you don’t have a calibrated feeder box or you are not doing the adjustments, you will miss that part and end up with a variation in the population related to body condition.
Lu: Sometimes we see farms trying to get the body condition down too fast. That might create more troubles than benefits. So, I think it’s important to keep in mind that we want to do the body condition management and implement the sow feeding program as gradually and as smoothly as possible.
Download the PIC Sow Feeding Program Implementation Tool here.