Poor Sow Productivity and Health
How can sow productivity and health be improved?
Sow reproductive performance is central to profitable sow production. Providing the proper nutrition throughout the sow’s reproductive cycle — from gestation to farrowing and lactation — will enhance the sow’s performance and longevity and will provide benefits for her piglets, too.
Signs of poor sow productivity and health
- Reduced feed intake
- Poor viable piglets
- Low-birthweight piglets
- Reduced colostrum and milk supply
- Longer wean-to-service interval
- Increased sow mortality
Causes of poor sow productivity and health
- Inadequate nutrition: Nutrition plays a critical role in sow productivity. Maintaining the proper nutrition and body condition score (BCS) from gestation to farrowing to lactation improves the sow’s health and piglet viability.
- Stress: Heat stress can reduce reproductive performance and feed intakes, both of which can lead to decreased milk production and poor piglet growth.
- Mycotoxins in feedstuffs: The presence of mycotoxins in feedstuffs can greatly reduce production potential, cause abortions and/or stillbirths and negatively impact overall sow health, if not properly addressed.
3 ways to improve sow productivity and health
- Increase mineral absorption: Provide minerals that are better absorbed and utilized, such as the organic trace minerals found in Bioplex® and Sel-Plex®. Studies have shown that providing a better mineral source can lower the number of small pigs without affecting the size of the pigs that are an adequate size.
- Maintain a quality nutrition program: This can help provide a proper immune response to vaccination, resulting in improved herd health and colostral antibody production.
- Improve gut health: Diseases, stress and poor growth can all be managed and potentially avoided with a healthy gut and strong immunity.
Improving sow productivity and health will help to improve overall sow reproductive health and performance.