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Keeping sows beyond six litters

Using modern computer programmes it should be easy to assess farrowing rate, litter size and pigs reared by pregnancy for each sow and the herd as a whole. This assists significantly in the decision to retain a sow for further breeding including:

  • To maintain the mating programme. Losses here cannot be recovered.
  • No gilts may be available that week for mating.
  • Records show that in this herd performance in parities 6, 7 or 8 is acceptable.
  • Records show that the numbers born in older sows compare favourably with the mean of gilts and second litter females.
  • Individual sow records show which sows have a good breeding and rearing history.
  • Records show farrowing rates in 7th parity sows are above 86%.