15 January 1999

Demand to safeguard production

ANY lapse in heat detection in sows over the recent holiday period means repeats may now be a concern.

Thats the warning from Yorks-based pig vet John Carr. "About 80% of repeat heats take place 18-24 days after service and a further 18% occur 25-30 days. If producers can improve heat detection in this 12-day period theyll virtually catch all repeat heats," he says.

Failure to do so will mean an increase in empty sows which often only comes to light on their prospective farrowing dates. Dr Carr warns that this will undermine the consistent output needed for many finished pig supply contracts, besides wasting money on feeding sows unnecessarily. &#42