How to keep your sow herd in an optimal condition

Romy Hendricks is Global Feed Specialist and team member of Global Nutrition Services. This team provides feed advice and support to customers, advisors, and feed producers worldwide about the best feeding practices to unlock the maximum potential of Topigs Norsvin genetics.

Having your sow herd in an optimal condition will improve production and feed efficiency. Monitoring body condition by observation or technology (weight and backfat measurements) gives insights into health, lifetime productivity, and well-being of the sow herd. An underdeveloped sow cannot show maximum performance. But an overweight sow does not perform optimally and is not feed efficient, which reduces profitability. So it is vital to meet the individual sow’s requirements during gestation and lactation to keep her in top condition.

Romy’s tips to keep your sow herd in an optimal condition:

  1. Gilts are the future of the breeding herd. Make sure gilts are inseminated within the correct weight and age boundaries, as recommended by Topigs Norsvin.
  2. Allow sows to have sufficient body weight gain and backfat levels during gestation to prepare them for lactation.
  3. Ensure adequate feed intake of the sows during lactation and minimize body weight loss (<10%).
  4. Use body condition at insemination as an indicator of the optimal feed curve in gestation.
  5. Measure sow body weight and backfat levels. It will help to monitor the condition of the sow herd.

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