Page 22 - PORCUS Sep / Oct 2020
P. 22

  New generation
sow: Nutrition and
The customisation and
implementation of a feeding
and management strategy
is actually a combined effort between management, genetic technical services, veterinarian and nutritionist. It is a team effort, to ensure that optimal production
is achieved on farm. The genetic potential is available to produce more than 14 pigs born alive per sow and to wean close to 30 pigs per sow per year, even more.
To achieve the genetic potential of our sows, we need to focus on the gilts when they are still very young.
In literature, there are available data that indicate that gilts,
which had early diarrhoea in the farrowing house, are already negatively affected with regard
to reproduction potential later
in life. Early gilt selection criteria
is very important in selecting the correct animal for future breeding purposes. The genetic companies have guidelines with regard to these criteria.
Manage and feed separately
It is important to manage and feed the gilts separately from around 10 weeks (70 days) of age. A gilt is not a grower pig and thus needs to be treated differently to unlock their genetic potential.
Gilts need to grow slowly and constantly at between 650 to 750 grams per day. Different genetics have different targets, but in general, mating occurs at 2nd or 3rd oestrus, around 30 to 34 weeks of age and at a weight of between 135 to 155 kg. It is important that these gilts are fed ad lib and that the specifications of the diet and ingredients used in the ration, controls feed intake and growth rate.
By improving our gilts’ reproduction performance, we can improve overall herd performance.
The nutritional requirements
of the sow herd has changed over the years and we need to be able to adapt our strategies accordingly. The sow herd has an inherent genetic potential for lean meat deposition. When formulating rations, we as nutritionists need
to calculate the amino acid requirements and not overfeed on amino acids. The sow has the ability to ferment fibre and different fibre
By Fred Bechaz, Feedtek (Pr.Sci.Nat)
The modern sow is a highly prolific animal and should be seen as a top athlete. As such, she needs to be managed and fed accordingly.
In the last couple of years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of born alive piglets, from the different genetic breeds. When feeding these high reproducing breeds, we need to consider the recommendations and feeding
manuals of those genetic suppliers. There are different approaches and strategies that are recommended.
It is important to analyse this information correctly to then be able to apply it successfully on-farm. The correct on-farm strategy will
be determined by management, housing and practical considerations. A “one-size-fits-all” strategy simply cannot just be implemented.
The basic guidelines need to be followed, but the strategy needs to be customised for the specific

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