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Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on May 12, 2017

Replacement gilts represent about 20% of all farrowings on most farms. As such, they are a critical part of the production system, though in many operations all females in the breeding herd are treated similarly. Gilts intended to be used as replacements should be treated as the special animals that they are. After all genetic decisions are made, they should be provided a better nursing environment, more space and separate feeds than their counterparts intended for market. Health should be monitored and actively managed. Through the strategic use of mature boars, the gilt age at puberty should be stimulated early and recorded. They should be mated and managed after mating as parity one females, receiving a different diet than older sows. These steps require extra time, and in some cases greater investment, but the payoff in long term productivity can be great.

STALE GILTS: Assuming that other conditions are normal (i.e. body condition, health etc.) treating these animals like gilts that failed to express puberty (i.e. acute stress or PG-600TM) seems to result in significant re-initiation of normal, fertile estrous cycles. In these gilts reproductive performance is expected to be normal.

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