Danish research has shown that vaccinating sows can increase the reproductive performance by up to one pig a litter.

The findings from Dorte Risum of the Porcus Swine Practice in Denmark involved a 220-sow farm that had mycoplasma, but no porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (AP).

In autumn 2009, problems were experienced, with stillbirths rising from 1.4 to 2 piglets a litter.

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Investigations by Dr Risum found bloods were negative for PRRS and leptospirosis, with porcine circo virus (PCV2) being suspected, so animals were vaccinated with Circovac.

“After vaccination, liveborn rates rose from 14.9 to 15.8 and stillbirths fell from 2 to 1.5 a litter. When piglets were weaned from vaccinated sows, they were more even in size.”

Commenting on the results at the Pig and Poultry Fair, Finlay MacBean of Merial Animal Health said the results were similar to those seen in UK studies. “Vaccinating against the virus can result in an extra piglet a sow and should be standard for gilts.”

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