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Gilt and Sow Management Guidelines 2017: Section 1 General Farm Review

17 October 2017
PIC

This section provides checklists on key performance indicators related to general sow farm processes and performance.

PIC have published 'Gilt and Sow Management Guidelines'. The guidelines provide recommendations for staff working at a commercial sow farm. In addition, these good management practices are also applicable to multipliers and production nucleus farms.

Section 1: General Farm Review

Access the full guidelines here

Comparing actual values versus target levels will help sow farm managers identify improvement opportunities to get the most value out of their operations. It will also indicate the need for intervention.

Process review

It is essential to understand the processes that could potentially limit the expression of the genetic potential. PIC has developed the PICpro100 tool to objectively assess a producer’s production practices. PICpro100 uses an algorithm developed by PIC that assign a score to 23 production practices most associated with high sow herd performance by comparing them against accepted good management practices. PICpro100 can be used to complement more traditional methods to review and evaluate sow herd performance. The PIC Technical Services Team or your PIC Account Manager can help you gain additional exposure to this tool.

Performance review

In addition to reviewing production processes, it is important to review performance records by parity and over a period of minimum 13 weeks. Key indicators to watch are farrowing rate, litter size, pre-weaning mortality, sow mortality, breeds per week and how many weeks are off target, replacement rate, wean to service interval, presence of parity dip and number of doses per sow in estrus. Many other indicators can be reviewed but the first screening will suggest which indicators to review and/or what to watch for during a farm visit.

Financial impact of key performance indicators

In addition to reviewing the production KPIs, we encourage the review of financials associated with these targets and any proposed management changes. This will help to understand where to prioritize efforts and deploy resources when attempting to address indicators that are not up to the expectations.

Farm visit

The ultimate farm review is an in-person visit. It will help to confirm or rule out what is suspected from the records and remote review of the processes. It is also important to check that sick animals are timely treated and to discuss with the farm manager any concern about animal well-being.

Access the full guidelines here

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