Interest Builds in Extending Sow Longevity to Improve Profitability

CANADA - The manager of contract research with the Prairie Swine Centre says pork producers are becoming more interested in strategies designed to extend the longevity of the breeding sow, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 9 October 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

A series of workshops hosted by the Prairie Swine Centre in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc to update pork producers on research being conducted in the area of sow lameness, longevity and temperament kicks off today in Stratford, Ontario and continues tomorrow in Lévis, Quebec.

Helen Thoday, the manager of contract research with the Prairie Swine Centre, says a range of factors will influence the lifespan of the sow.

Helen Thoday-Prairie Swine Centre

We're becoming more and more interested in longevity to improve the pig producers' bottom line because the longer the sow can go on producing and not be culled out for any lameness or temperament reasons is the most effective payback of that gilt in your herd.

We're also considering the future and the changes in housing all across North America and how that might impact.

We know when sows are in groups they behave differently.

They're physically more active and that means they're coming into contact with the flooring types more and we need to consider what the sow needs to be productive and have a long life in those different group sow housing aspects.

That's what a lot of the cluster research really looked at.

Also to start looking at the temperament as well which is another area that's been researched in the past but maybe will come to the forefront of our minds as these stock people start to interact more regularly with their sows in groups and as we start to handle them a lot more in the group sow environment.

For more on sow lameness, longevity and temperament research or on the series of workshops visit or

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