Birth weight uniformity as a potential predictor of future pig performance

The number of healthy piglets born alive is a primary focus of the pork industry in order to maximize sow productivity. However, it has been shown that larger litter sizes are negatively correlated to survival rates and weight gains. The increase in litter size has also been shown to correlate with a decrease in mean piglet birth weight and an increase in within-litter birth weight variation. It is often also accompanied with a higher number of piglets below 1 kg and therefore lower viability. These lighter piglets are particularly prevalent within less uniform litters.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.