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Canadian producer survey could help identify best sow management practices

A planned survey of Canadian Swine Producers will assist scientists in developing sow management strategies designed to enhance longevity and improve the welfare and productivity of the sows and their piglets.

2 September 2019, at 9:04am

Researchers with the Prairie Swine Center, the Centre de développement du porc du Québec and the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement are working in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc to assess differences in the management of sows and their piglets that influence the longevity of the sows and the performance of the sows and their piglets.

sow sitting in farrowing crate with piglets playing around her

Speaking to Farmscape, Brian Sullivan, the CEO of the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement, explains that researchers have been gathering and comparing objective historical data from around the world that can quantify trends for the last ten years and will be surveying and interviewing Canadian producers to identify what's most important in terms of management.

"Our role is, in part, to provide information from the national database that we maintain as part of our genetic improvement services," says Sullivan. "We also are using some of our international connections to find information from other countries."

"As the project advances, we'll be helping to survey Canadian producers and to identify individual producers to be interviewed regarding specific practices on their farms.

"It's a three year project and we're just finishing the first year, where we've been focusing on gathering historical data. The next year will include the survey of Canadian producers and individual producers. The third year will be largely the data analysis and reporting of the findings."

Sullivan says this is a proactive initiative to provide more information to pork producers related to sow management. He says the goal is to better understand factors that impact the sows and their piglets and identify best management practices to enhance welfare and productivity.