Reported Drop in Sow Body Condition04 February 2008
UK - A drop in sow condition has been observed by a number of NADIS reporting vets in the UK over the last two months, despite the fact that so far the winter has been fairly mild.
According to NADIS, poor levels of insulation in buildings and even cut backs in feed levels to reduce costs have be implicated, but also a change of bedding materials has been highlighted as contributing to the problem.
The report from NADIS says that barley straw of good quality is palatable to sows and can provide up to 4MJ DE/kg straw consumed ie 1kg of straw eaten by the sow will equate to approximately an extra 300gm of compound feed in energy provision.
Where straw has been changed this year to wheat - which is less palatable and contains far less energy - this energy supplement is no longer available.
Therefore, NADIS adds, where the system is such that winter feed levels are supplemented by bedding and barley straw is not available, it will be necessary to increase feed provision to preserve sow body condition in order to maintain sow productivity and litter quality at birth.
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