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Garth Pig Stockmanship Standards

Enhancing Litter Size

Section: Stockmanship Standards

Enhancing Litter Size

Enhancing Litter Size
Age of Gilt at first mating Gilts should be 210 days
Weight of gilt at first mating 130 - 140 kg
Condition of gilt at first mating 20 mm backfat
Which Oestrus in the gilt Ideally after 2nd oestrus
Nutrition of gilt from 95 kg Ad lib feeding up to first mating. Note floor feeding may not provide all gilts in group with ad lib feeding. Increase protein intake by top dressing with fish meal
Gestation feeding of the pregnant gilt Limit to a condition score of 3.5 or this will create a second litter size drop
Maximising lactation feed intake 10 kg by day 18 of lactation. Ensure water supply excellent
Weaning to service Maximise to service increase protein i.e. fish meal.Possibly keep the sow in the crate and move the piglets and then feed another lactation feed. Do not feed in morning, move and feed in evening
Post-service feeding Controversial - standard advice 2.5 kg 14% protein 13 MJ 0.7% lysine for the first 14 days. May be more critical during the first 72 hours post-service
Feed quality Mycotoxins can reduce litter size - increase mummified piglets
Vitamin A 1 million units at time of weaning in sows and 5 days prior to service in gilts (15 days after last recorded heat). Retinol Palmitate used.
Lactation length Greater than 17 days
Parity Minimise drop-outs from herd to 10% per parity. Parity 3-5 most productive. Replacement rate needs careful management. Ensure herd parity is correct.
Genetics Heterosis on maternal side may account for 1 pig per litter or more. Sows with large litters will tend to produce large litters next time. Specific - Meishan effects
Diseases Ensure vaccination against Parvo up to date. Swine influenza reduces litter size. Enterovirus and other viruses may reduce total born, decrease livebirths, increase mummified and stillbirths
Movement/stress Move at service or at 28 days once confirmed pregnant. Implantation occurs at 14 days. Do not move or stress females from 3 to 21 days post-service
Air quality Air temperature 16-18?C. No draughts.
Boar fertility Note swine influenza and heat stress (infection and environment)
Mating management Cross-serving. Two services. Natural service and AI.
Semen Handling Poor semen handling, extending and storage has the potential for reducing fertility and litter size
Light patterns The service area in particular needs to be well lit and have a 16 hours on and 8 hours off on a time clock. 500 Lux required.
Maximise gilt litter To maximise lifetime performance
Farrowing management Reduced stillbirths and accurate stillbirths/pre-weaning mortality


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Buy Pig Stockmanship Standards Extracted from Garth Pig Stockmanship Standards*
written by Dr John Carr.

You can buy this book HERE
*Published by 5M Enterprises Limited

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