Document Detail

An analysis of survey data by size of the breeding herd for the reproductive management practices of North American sow farms.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23097401     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
A survey was performed to assess whether reproductive management differed among small (S, <500 sows), medium (M, 501 to 2000 sows) and large (L, 2001 to 8000 sows) sized farms (n = 113). Farms with 501 to 4000 sows/barn were most frequent with sows kept in stalls on 90% of farms. More L farms (P < 0.05) functioned as breed to wean and more S and M as farrow to finish. More S and L farms weaned at > 21 d while M farms were more likely to wean at 18 to 21 days (P < 0.05). More S and L farms had farrowing rates above 89% than M farms (P < 0.05), and culling rates above 40% were more frequent on M and L farms than on S. On M and L farms, sows were bred in larger batches, using lower person to sow ratios, and with more people required than on S farms (P < 0.05). More M and L farms spent time moving sows and on records while hours devoted to estrous detection, breeding and other tasks did not differ among farms. More M and L farms used more boars for estrus detection, rotated boars, and controlled boar movement than S farms (P < 0.05). Farm size also influenced semen sourcing, number of doses received, and frequency of semen delivery (P < 0.05). More M and L farms performed AI in the presence of a boar, left the AI rod in following AI, checked for returns, and diagnosed pregnancy than S farms (P < 0.05). Start of boar exposure after weaning began on 69% of farms within 2 days, occurring most often in the AM, but with exposure times varying from 1 to 5 min/sow. Semen was thermally protected for 50% of farms receiving shipments, while semen storage was consistent among farms. For AI, service occurred within min to h after detection of estrus on 61% of farms. During AI, procedures such as back-pressure were required while techniques such as hands-free AI were prohibited on most farms. Sow movement was allowed only once at four weeks following breeding on 50% of farms while pregnancy diagnosis occurred at 3 to 5 weeks on 78% of farms. Most sows were allowed ≥ one chance for breeding following conception failure before culling. Incidence of fail to farrow was < 5% and litter size was 10 to 13 pigs on > 82% of farms. Summer infertility was observed on 69% of farms with estrus and pregnancy failures the leading causes. Over 70% of farms reported a technician effect on fertility. These results suggest that reproductive management of farms in key areas related to weaning, breeding, gestation, and labor use could be a source of variation in reproductive performance.
R V Knox; S L Rodriguez Zas; N L Sloter; K A McNamara; T J Gall; D G Levis; T J Safranski; W L Singleton
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1525-3163     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Animal Sciences, 360 ASL 1207 West Gregory Drive, MC-630, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 61801 USA.
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