Farmscape for November 29, 2019
A Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says, by extending the longevity of sows in the breeding herd, pork producers can take greater advantage of their increased milk production in later parities.
Mother's milk is the only source of nutrients and energy available to the piglet at birth but, over the years, as the result of increased liter sizes, the amount of milk available to each piglet has decreased.
"Improving Sow Lactational Performance" was among the topics discussed in Saskatoon as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2019.
Dr. Chantal Farmer, a Research Scientist in Sow Lactation Biology with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Sherbrooke, says the amount of milk a sow will produce will increase in later parities.
Clip-Dr. Chantal Farmer-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
The multiparous animal, so parity two and onward will produce 25 percent more milk than primiparous animals and the maximum amount of milk yield is in parities two to four.
So really we should keep our sows up till four parities if we want to maximize the milk yield of the sows but, I know in Quebec anyway and I'm quite sure it's the same here, we don't keep sows for that long.
We have culling problems and longevity problems so that's something we need to work on because keeping the sows in the herd for four parties would maximize the milking capacity of those sows.
The peak in milk yield is in parties two to four so what it's telling us is that we need to keep our animals in the herd long enough to be able to take advantage of that peak in milk yields.
So any managment procedure you can have to make sure you extend longevity of these animals, avoid leg problems and anythhing you can do to have a good body condition, make sure they're not too thin, it's a good thing to keep these animals for the fourth first lactations.
Dr. Farmer says the more milk the piglet consumes the faster it will grow and the less time it will take to reach market weight and the more colostrum, the piglet receives the more resistant it will be to disease.
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