DECREASING day length and widely fluctuating temperatures over 24 hour periods, which occur as winter approaches, can mean delayed oestrous after farrowing and an increase in returns to service, according to Cotswold.
To minimise climatic effects on breeding, it recommends:
• Providing artificial light for sows, and especially gilts, for 14-16 hours each day.
• Increasing feed levels by up to 0.5kg a day for pregnant sows to offset the chilling effect of cold nights, or increasing bedding.
• Increasing exposure to boars in the first month of pregnancy to help promote its establishment. *