This is our most popular series on the blog. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.
You can find all of the presentations selected from previous conferences on the blog here.
This month we are sharing a talk about production methods for increased litter size by Mark Schwartz (Schwartz Farms).
The National Swine Reproduction Guide (NSRG; U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, Des Moines, IA) is a valuable tool to help producers utilize data analysis to troubleshoot reproductive problems in a herd or farm.
Analysis of farrow-to-wean farms within a North Carolina production system revealed extended wean-to-service interval of first-parity sows and poor performance of second-parity sows. NSRG recommendations include reviewing lactation diet composition and first-parity sow lactation feed intake.
Reproductive data from nine farms within one production system from 2011 to 2015 were obtained. Average Total Number Born (TNB) for the production system was 12.4 piglets born per litter, yet litter size was lowest in second-parity sows. Greater than 24% of second-parity sows failed to achieve the decision boundary criteria of 11.5 TNB. Within first-parity sows, 73% of the contemporary groups had greater than 10% of their sows failing to return to estrus within 10 days of weaning.
The following recommendations to improve TNB and reduce Weaning-to-Service Interval (WSI) were created following consultation of the NSRG: