Opportunities to Improve Sow Longevity
Sow longevity is a complex phenomenon, influenced by many factors. Finding the right balance between keeping the herd young enough, while still maintaining a significant number of sows between parities 3 to 5 in the system is an ongoing challenge. Failure to reach four parities increases production costs, reduces pigs per sow per year and potentially hinders herd health.
The importance of gilt development to the sow’s lifetime contribution to the herd is often underestimated. Research shows that pig producers need to start developing their replacement gilts as early as 18 kg (40 lbs) in order to maximize their lifetime potential and longevity within the herd.
Herd records show that lameness accounts for up to 15% of total culls through the first parity. Foot lesions are commonly found on 15% to 40% of developing gilts. Inflammatory lesions are of primary concern since these lesions cause pain and stress, which directly impact reproductive performance.
Availa-Sow, from Zinpro Performance Minerals®, contains a unique combination of zinc, manganese and copper amino acid complexes specifically formulated to help optimize foot health and reproductive performance of sows and gilts.
Free White Paper Download
Download your free copy of "Sow Longevity Key To Profits" white paper by completing the short form below. In this article, Dr. Mark Wilson, Reproductive Physiologist, Zinpro Corporation, urges producers to aim for what he calls the "fantastic four" – at least four litters per sow.