ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Focusing in on Planned Farrowing

by 5m Editor
25 November 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Ross Kelly BVMS, MRCVS from Schering-Plough Animal Health, looks at the benefits of planned farrowing, pointing out that sows, piglets and stockpersons all gain from the practice.

Planned Farrowing - UK - Ross Kelly BVMS, MRCVS from Schering-Plough Animal Health, looks at the benefits of planned farrowing, pointing out that sows, piglets and stockpersons all gain from the practice. Schering-Plough Animal Health

Planned Farrowing is a highly effective method of improving breeding and production flow on the pig unit. The key to any successful breeding unit is to firstly produce the greatest number of pigs born alive and then keep them alive until sale. Having the ability to predict and control farrowing routines will help achieve this.

The use of planned farrowing medication - with prostaglandins such as Planate - can be used as a tool to allow ‘batch management’ of sows and gilts. Prostaglandins work by inducing the sows’ farrowing process and trials have shown that normally 95% of animals will commence farrowing within 36 hours of treatment.

Planate is given by injection two days or less before the predicted farrowing date. Whilst the average gestation length is 115 days, this can vary from 111-119 days, so it is important to know, accurately, the gestation length for the farm concerned.

If practised correctly, benefits accrue for sows, piglets and stockpersons alike:

For the Sow

  • Supervised farrowing with assistance if needed.

  • Medicines can be administered as required.

  • As a result of improved routines the sow condition at re-mating will be better.

For the Piglet
  • Identification of low viability piglets for special attention.

  • Ensures teat place and early suckling, thus encouraging early uptake of colostrum.

  • Even groups of pigs to help them with early creep uptake.

For the Stockperson
  • Planned labour input at farrowing means economic use of unit staff. In addition, weekend farrowings can be avoided.

  • Management of post birth routines such as teeth clipping and vaccination is easier with batches.

  • Better utilisation of farrowing accommodation allowing for thorough clean down routines.

  • Predictable re-serving schedule allows for future planned inputs in the service area including boar or AI usage.

Before introducing any planned farrowing programme you should discuss and agree the routine with your herd vet. It is also important that accurate service date records are kept to ensure that the drug is administered at the correct time.

Further information is available from Ross Kelly at Schering-Plough Animal Health: Phone 01895 626000

Source: Schering-Plough Animal Health 25th November 2004

5m Editor