Gareth Salmond (MSc Animal Nutrition, Pr. Sci. Nat.).
For more information contact him at Gareth.Salmond@meadowfeeds.co.za
Nutrition, health and management go hand in hand to achieve a high technical performance from the modern-day sow. Giltand sow genetics is always changing and increased attention to the gilt rearing program is essential to achieve their higher genetic potential.
In 1980 it was common to have gilts at 100kg with a back fat thickness (P2)measurement of 19mm, whilst today it is common to have gilts around a back fat of 11mmat this body weight. The below table indicates some of the goals to aim for when mating gilts. At the time of mating,the gilt is still growing towards her mature weight which is reached around her 3rdor 4thparity.