How to reduce the number of non-productive days with insemination management

Julia Linck Moroni is global AIM Specialist and part of the Global AIM Services team. The AIM services team provides male and female reproduction support to clients worldwide. 

A non-productive day (NPD) is defined as any day that a sow or an eligible breeding gilt is not gestating or lactating. NPD reduces the number of possible productive days, limiting the number of litters per year. Appropriate reproductive management practices have the potential to optimize herd efficiency and minimize NPD.

Tips to reduce the number of non-productive days with insemination management:

  1. Ensure appropriate boar exposure and heat detection immediately after weaning. Wean to service interval is a key driver for productivity. Sows in a good body condition should be in heat 4 to 6 days after weaning.
  2. Support adequate feed intake during the previous lactation and after weaning. During these key periods, feed intake may be the most significant factor affecting how soon the sows return to heat and the quality of oocytes and embryos for subsequent gestations.
  3. Identify the returns as soon as possible. Ensure heat check is conducted around days 18 to 24 after breeding, followed by ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis by days 28 to 35 and a week later. After that, visual inspections of the sows should be carried out routinely. 
  4. Routinely analyze return to estrus reports. This action allows determining flaws in reproductive procedures and opportunities to reduce NDP during the post-weaning period.
  5. Optimize the period from the arrival of gilts to their first breeding. Execute good boar exposure to identify the most fertile gilts and breed within the recommended age and weight to avoid additional NPD before the first breeding.

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