12 April 2002

Improving sows

THE number of productive sows at Easton Lodge has risen from 355 in the year ending Feb 28, 2001 to 368 in the current year, writes pig unit manager Jasper Renold.

Our aim is to help make up for the shortfall in sow productivity which, for the past six months, has run at 21.9 pigs reared per sow per year. That is as low as we hope it will get. Fortunately our double Solari grower accommodation is interchangeable with space to house sows and gilts and already houses the growing home-bred gilts.

The sow replacement rate has increased to 57% during the past six months compared with an average of 33% for Agrisoft herds. Many of the Camborough 15 sows are getting beyond their sell-by date. Although giving good litter sizes, their rearing ability is becoming compromised due to their age and size leading to pre-weaning mortality of 15.9%.

Litter sizes have shown a useful increase to 11.48 pigs born alive in the past three months. Also weaning weights are up to 7.3kg from an annual average of 7kg.

Rearing herd mortality is slightly up at 1.7% compared with 1.3% a year ago. But we consider ourselves fortunate to have escaped PDNS and PMWS which must account for the Agrisoft herds average of 7%. &#42

A particular concern in February associated with raising slaughter weights was a P2 of 12mm at 74.9kg deadweight but that has mysteriously corrected itself. P2s are now nearer the annual average of 11.3mm.


Agrisoft Agrisoft

Current year Previous year Top third Average

Period ended Yr ended Period ended Yr ended Compound Compound

28.02.02 28.02.02 28.0202 28.02.01 28.02.01 28.02.01 Yr ended Yr ended

(3 months) (6 months) (3 months) (6 months) 31.12.01 31.12.01

Breeding herd

Herd structure

Average number of sows and gilts in the herd 393 390 384 373 374 384 219 271

Average number of unserved gilts 18 17 16 18 20 29 16 19

Average number of productive sows 375 373 368 355 354 35 203 252

Sow performance factors

% breeding sow replacements 18.3 28.7 47.9 13.7 26.5 38.3 28.9 33.5

% breeding sow deaths 2.0 4.4 8.1 1.6 3.5 7.0 5.0 6.6

Recorded services: Farrowings (%) (*lagged) – 75.5* 78.5* – 78.2* 79.9* 79.3 78.5

Non-productive days 14 31* 23* 29 25* 28* 27 38

Average number of litters/sow and gilt/year 2.39 2.29* 2.34* 2.30 2.33* 2.31* 2.30 2.24

Average number of pigs reared/sow and gilt/year 23.1 21.9* 22.4* 23.6 23.9* 24.4* 23.1 21.4

Quantity sow and boar feed/cow & gilt a year (t) 1.252 1.196 1.236 1.239 1.261 1.235 1.238 1.256

Cost/t sow and boar feed (£) 124.21 125.45 116.53 99.52 98.87 99.35 108.79 112.71

Litter performance factors

Average number of pigs born a litter: Alive 11.48 11.34 11.22 11.93 11.93 12.10 11.38 10.88

Average number of pigs born a litter: Dead 1.14 1.22 1.10 1.23 1.06 0.99 0.96 1.12

Average number of pigs born a litter: Mumm 0.16 0.17 0.25 0.14 0.17 0.20 0.20 0.18

Average number of pigs born a litter: Total 12.78 12.73 12.57 13.30 13.15 13.30 12.55 12.17

Average number of pigs reared a litter 9.65 9.54 9.58 10.27 10.26 10.55 10.06 9.56

Pig performance factors

% mortality pigs born alive 15.9 15.9 14.6 13.9 13.9 12.9 11.7 12.1

Total feed cost/pig reared (£) 7.13 7.24 6.87 5.61 5.64 5.49 6.54 7.19

Average weight of pigs weaned (kg) 7.3 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.1 7.0 7.1 7.1

Average weaning age (days) 26 25 25 25 25 25 26 25

Rearing herd

Number of pigs in herd 1358 1371 1369 1416 1419 1437 1711 2483

Average weight of pigs leaving herd (kg) 43.0 42.7 42.8 43.0 42.0 40.8 43.4 44.8

Average daily weight gain (g) 525 565 562 590 576 563 519 519

Number of days in herd 67 63 64 60 60 60 64 68

Mortality (%) 1.6 1.5 1.7 1.4 1.2 1.3 6.5 7.0

Average feed/pig/day (kg) 0.95 0.93 0.91 0.97 0.94 0.89 0.95 1.01

Feed conversaion ratio (kg feed/kg lwg) 1.81 1.64 1.61 1.64 1.62 1.59 1.82 1.94

Feed cost/kg lwg (p) 39.69 36.13 34.86 32.34 30.74 30.38 31.71 34.06

Overall cost/t feed (£) 219.09 219.90 216.30 197.20 189.42 191.13 174.17 175.79

Feeding herd

Average number of pigs in herd 1446 1450 1480 1538 1576 1631 1056 1071

Number of pigs sold 1782 3831 7783 1910 4108 8351

Average weight pigs leaving herd (kg) 99.2 97.8 98.0 98.0 98.1 97.0 99.3 95.0

Average daily liveweight gain (g) 769 799 787 734 810 791 731 702

Number of days in herd 72 69 70 74 69 71 83 83

Mortality (%) 2.5 2.2 2.3 3.2 2.3 2.3 3.1 4.2

Average feed/pig/day (kg) 2.26 2.23 2.20 2.12 2.20 2.12 1.94 2.00

Feed conversion ratio (kg feed/kg lwg) 2.94 2.79 2.79 2.89 2.72 2.67 2.66 2.84

Feed cost/kg lwg (p) 39.80 38.02 36.70 32.55 30.75 30.33 30.83 36.34

Overall cost/t feed (£) 135.32 136.19 131.34 112.66 113.11 113.45 115.99 127.74

Average carcase weight(kg) 73.7 72.8 73.3 73.3 73.5 72.7 74.3 71.9

Average sale value (£) (live and dead sales) 68.70 68.30 69.85 70.91 71.88 69.93 72.10 68.82

Average price/kg deadweight (p) 93.19 93.79 95.34 96.81 97.80 96.25 97.11 95.07

Rearing and feeding herd combined

Average weight pigs entering herd (kg) 7.3 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.1 7.0 7.2 6.9

Average weight pigs leaving herd (kg) 98.9 97.6 97.9 98.0 98.1 97.0 95.9 93.9

Average daily liveweight gain(g) 651 685 679 665 699 684 621 581

Number of days in herd 139 132 134 135 129 131 142 149

Mortality % 4.0 3.6 3.9 4.5 3.5 3.6 6.1 6.8

Average feed/pig/day (kg) 1.63 1.60 1.58 1.57 1.60 1.54 1.44 1.45

Feed conversion ratio (kg feed/kg lwg) 2.50 2.33 2.32 2.36 2.29 2.26 2.32 2.50

Feed cost/kg lwg (p) 39.76 37.26 35.97 32.46 30.75 30.35 31.43 37.22

Overall cost/t feed (£) 159.01 159.82 154.77 137.70 1 34.23 134.54 135.51 149.06