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

The proportion of sows in the breeding herd that fail to remain beyond their third parity can result from single or multiple factors that may interact and lead to culling. Most of the reasons for culling reside in the involuntary category with the leading reasons involving reproductive failure and poor litter performance. Although other issues such as locomotor problems are prevalent, this paper focus’s on reproductive and litter failures, which collectively account for 60% of all cullings. Factors associated with culling alone and in combination with other risk factors include young parity, excessive weight loss in lactation, season, short lactation length, improper boar exposure and single service.

While the causes for each of these failures can be single and in some cases multi-factorial, making changes for increased sow retention past parity 3 will require more detailed information to make advances. Information on the female, her history, recent events and observations from different stages of production would be important for helping troubleshoot problems and minimize problems in the future. While it may not be possible to correct ongoing fertility problems in certain females, it may be most effective to try and prevent similar types of problems in subsequent groups of sows identified for risk of failure. Knowing the risk factors associated with the specific types of failures on farms could help identify factors that can be controlled to reduce the incidence of these types of failures in the future. Treating each case of failure as unique will allow for a thorough accounting for history, and will provide the greatest chance for identifying contributing factors and eliminating these risks.

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