Breeding for Vitality Works - Weaning Performance Excels

THE NETHERLANDS - Dutch pig farmers using TOPIGS sows have achieved an average production of 26.36 weaned piglets per year in 2007. Compared with 2006, this is an increase of 0.65 piglets
calendar icon 15 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

This very positive picture has emerged from the technical results of 942 farms collected from herds that use TOPIGS genetics. It represents a population of more than 368,000 sows. The results were compiled using overviews from the sow management system sent to TOPIGS by sow managers. Data from breeding companies with in-house breeding that are linked to the Pigbase system of TOPIGS were also incorporated into the overview.

"A larger litter with on average a lower birth weight does not result in a higher mortality,"
Pig Breeding and Genetics Company, TOPIGS

The data shows that the top 25 per cent of those recorded achieved an average of 28.52 piglets per sow in 2007. Also, a total of 22 farms recorded actually topped 30 pigs weaned per sow which is massive improvement on the nine herds recorded as achieving that level of performance in 2006.

Piglet Survival Pays

From the 2007 results, TOPIGS concludes that its approach to genetics in the areas of piglet survival and piglet vitality are working well. Producers are reaping the benefits.

In 2007, the number of piglets reared per litter increased by 0.28 to 12.75 piglets. Whereas the figure recorded for 2006 was 12.47. Pre-weaning mortality also fell slightly from 12.2 per cent to 12.1 per cent and goes against the common opinion that mortality will rise with increasing litter size.

Therefore the increased litter size and the associated effect of a slightly lower birth weight of the piglets does not affect piglet vitality. Or in other words, a larger litter with on average a lower birth weight does not result in a higher mortality, says the company.

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