Tackling Seasonal Infertility in Sows

UK - Seasonal infertility is a perennial problem for the pig industry and BPEX is taking steps to address it and find ways of tackling it.
calendar icon 2 April 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

A well-attended meeting was held at Bury St Edmunds where the results of a series of interventions carried out on farm were outlined.

BPEX KT Manager for the East Richard Bows said: "I was really pleased with how well attended the meeting was, with the audience providing some very useful and constructive feedback, both during and after the meeting. A second is being held in the North of England on Tuesday, 8 April."

"The meeting was attended by about 40 people covering producers, allied industry, nutritionists, feed companies and pharmaceutical firms so the whole industry was covered."

The interventions covered were:

  • Providing shade. Anecdotally it looks favourable and will be continued during the warmer months this year to provide enough information for conclusions to be drawn.
  • Ad –lib feeders. One important result was that body condition scoring proved to be successful and again this has continued on one unit and has been introduced into the quarterly vet visit.
  • Feeding dextrose. Again the sample size is so far too small and this will be continuing. However, it did show an improvement in performance and more work will determine if this trend continues.

One of the speakers at the event was consultant Stephen Hall who said to know your FR per cent you must understand your re-service rate and how these animals are contributing to overall herd performance.

Mr Bows said there was a good discussion on areas BPEX might like to look at next which included:

  • We must take the top farms from benchmarking records and understand how they achieve the best levels of pre-weaning mortality
  • Summer lactation diets
  • Managing a gilt separately through to second farrowing

He said: "There were many very positive comments about the workshop as this is a problem from which the industry has always suffered.

"It is important to try to find ways of reducing the effects and improving efficiency which will have a direct effect on profitability.

For more information about the Northern workshop, please click here.

For further information contact Richard Bows on 07816 941223.

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