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10 Pointers: Feeding Sows for More Pigs

by 5m Editor
30 January 2003, at 12:00am

By Pork Magazine staff - Getting more pigs out of your sows requires management beyond the breeding barn. Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota nutritionist, says there are 10 nutritional keys to feeding sows and gilts to maximize litter size.

Take me to Pork Magazine 1. Johnston recommends feeding development diets once gilts reach 100 pounds. This diet should contain a breeding-herd premix, and the calcium/phosphorous should be increased by 0.1 percent over grower diets.

He suggests restricting feed in the gilt pool. Limit feed once gilts reach 240 pounds. “Flush” gilts beginning 14 days before anticipated breeding. This should lead to a 150 percent to 200 percent increase in energy intake, says Johnston.

2. Next, adjust diets to enhance embryo survival. “Flushing after breeding can drop embryo survival,” he notes. “Stop flushing gilts within 24 hours after mating.” This may be difficult to implement in pen-housing systems.

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January 2003