Sow Lifetime Performance Now Figures in Prestigious Golden Pig Award

SPAIN - Changes have been made for the 2014 edition of the Porc d’Or Awards to reflect a greater emphasis on the sow's lifetime performance.
calendar icon 14 July 2014
clock icon 4 minute read

At the 21st Porc d’Or Gala (in its 2014 edition), the award for the number of piglets born alive will be substituted by the number of piglets weaned over the sow's lifetime, reports IRTA. The modification of the awarded indexes is the result of a deep technical analysis that was presented and discussed in a meeting held by the BDporc technical group - which includes IRTA, ANPROGAPOR, and MAGRAMA - with representatives from companies belonging to BDporc.

Among the topics discussed during the meeting, in which the possible changes in the criteria currently used to generate the Porc d’Or awards were analysed, it is important to highlight the agreement among all the assistants on the convenience to change the Born Alive Award for an index that recognizes other relevant aspects regarding the management of a pig holding.

Several alternative indexes were assessed. As accepted unanimously by all the representatives of the sector, the Number of Weaned piglets of sows at culling is an excellent indicator of good maternity management and of several other welfare parameters, as well of productivity and economic performance of the exploitations.

Thus, the Awards to be presented in the next Porc d’Or Awards Gala will be Numerical Productivity, Rate of Deliveries, and Weaned piglets of sows at culling.

The history of the criteria used to designate the Porc d’Or Awards since their creation in 1994 is as follows:

  • 1994-2005: numerical productivity; born alive; farrowing interval
  • 2005-2013: numerical productivity; born alive; farrowing rate
  • Porc d’Or 2014: numerical productivity; piglets weaned over lifetime; farrowing rate.

In awarding the prize, the jury will also take into account:

  • numerical productivity per productive sow related to the numerical productivity per sow at the first service
  • farrowing rate correlation with the number of abortions/services and number of unproductive days per cycle, and
  • dynamics and age structure of the sows on the farm when deciding on the farms awarded for Weaned piglets of sows at culling and other criteria.

Nominated farms will have to show above-average productivity for the country, an average lactation period complying with the Animal Welfare Ordinance (RD. 1135/2002 of October 31), entries must have completed at least six cycles and herds must be listed in BDporc 'Spanish Reference Swine Database'.

The jury is composed of recognised personalities in the sector, from companies, livestock research centres and from public administration. Their decision is final.

The farm that is awarded the Special Diamond Porc d’Or Award will show a balance between all the technical results and the evolution over the last three years. A Technical Committee will visit all the farms nominated for the Special Porc d’Or awards - Porc d’Or con Diamante (Golden Pig with Diamond) and Porc d’Or Especial MAGRAMA (MAGRAMA special Porc d’Or) - before the final verdict.

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