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Understanding Farrowing Rates and Production Losses

(162) In Fig.5-8 the components of farrowing rate loss are defined at the best levels of biological efficiency. A 7% failure of repeat matings made up of 5% at a normal interval of 18-22 days and a further 2% outside this would be a good target to achieve. A continuing farrowing rate of 89% for a minimum period of 12 months would be considered excellent and this would give approximately 10 non productive days per sow from the first day of mating to the mating for the next pregnancy. Depending on the lactation length 2.3 to 2.4 litters per sow per year would result. It should be noted however that these figures do not take into account the period from the day of entry of the gilt into the herd to its first mating. Non productive days in this respect often go unrecognised and can be significant.



Analysing the farrowing rate losses
Pregnancy losses from mating should be documented on a daily basis as they occur. Fig.5-9 shows a simple recording sheet that you could adopt. This type of approach is usually of more value than using computerised information, because the precise detail required is often not recorded in the programme.

This is particularly so in the column "Results/History/Comments", where the stockperson's' observations can be very helpful in understanding the problem. For example, farrowing rate problems may not be associated with reproductive efficiency but due to lameness and subsequent abortion or embryo absorption. Lame boars or lame sows can be associated with farrowing rate loss and if such information is not collected the core of the problem may be missed. Fig.5-10 shows the overall picture if you have a low farrowing rate.



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