Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Gary D. Dial, Janelle R. Roker, Bradley W. Freking
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
Reference: Proceedings of the 2002 Manitoba Swine Seminar
Country: Canada


Ultimately, measuring the efficiency of productivity of the sow herd involves pigs/sow/year (in which this article shows several methods of determining this). The number of females served into a breeding group is dependent upon the size of four
Sub-populations in the herd: (1) weaned sows, (2) opportunity sows, (3) females that return to estrus following mating (recycles), and (4) gilts in the available pool. 7 steps are offered here in order to predict the gilt need of individual operations and maximize throughput.

The quality of weaned pigs is typically measured by average weaning weight. Record systems are increasingly being used to track the number of pigs that are not weaned at a certain minimum weight, have defects, have been castrated, do not show signs of disease, and are free of diseases potentially impacting their performance during the growing phase.

Budgets and targets should be set so that they are not achievable right now, but with some extra work, they can be. Gilt pool endpoint targets can include age-related endpoints, inventory management endpoints, and entry to first service interval. Target productivity endpoints can include prime numbers of productivity and sow longevity. Computational models such as a spreadsheet can be used to determine gilt flow and size of gilt development facilities needed.

Monitoring herd performance is essential to good production. Data capture, projection of gilt needs, monitoring of gilt availability, monitoring of gilt handling, and monitoring of gilt performance should all be performed. In-barn information should also be strictly recorded, which includes gilt identification, stall and crate cards, data capture forms, and group numbering. “Gilt Needs Projection” can be used to determine dynamically how to vary rates of gilt introduction into a herd. Projections are run monthly. In general, as the number of pigs weaned increases, the cost of production decreases. This should be taken into account when investigating cost-management.

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