Source: Gareth Salmond, Meadow Feeds, photo credit: Tim Scrivener, UK Farmer’s Weekly
Feeding in the farrow house is the engine that drives the whole farm as the proper feeding of the sow and maintenance of her body condition is critical to achieving a high level of productivity in the production unit.
A well balanced nutrient intake during lactation is important as this will assist the sows in producing more milk and therefore larger pigs at weaning, as well as limiting the loss of sow body condition. In addition, sow conception rate after weaning and subsequent litter size are highly dependent on the amount of feed the sow consumes within the farrowing house.
The feeding program in the farrow house should be designed to prevent pre- and post-farrow complications whilst maximizing feed intakes to supply the sow with her high nutrient requirements.
Younger sows also generally eat less than older sows in the farrowing house and the limited amount of body reserves available in the genetically leaner modern sow makes the nutrient intake to support her needs of increasing importance.