FEEDSTUFFS IN FOCUS: Individualized sow care offers production advantages

At the Iowa Pork Congress, a comprehensive, on-farm training program that teaches caregivers and production managers the value of conducting daily health, welfare and performance assessments on every sow was launched.

January 23, 2020

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Increased sow mortality rates have a serious impact on farm profitability and employee morale. Issues including lameness, feet and leg issues and prolapses are all significant aspects of rising sow mortality rates.

Research published in 2018 from veterinarians at the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota, estimate that prolapses on a 2,500-sow farm cost roughly $34 per inventoried sow or $850 per prolapsed sow. Earlier research from the University of Minnesota found that reducing sow mortality from 10% to 6% would add $4,000/year in income for a 600-sow farm, or roughly 33 cents per weaned pig.

In this week’s episode, we talk with a veterinarian at Zoetis about her company’s effort to teach production managers the value of conducting health, welfare and performance assessments on every sow, from every breed group, every day.

This episode of Feedstuffs In Focus is sponsored by Hog Slat, and their new 54-inch Infinity fan. By utilizing advanced motor technology, this fan offers precise variable speed control with lower energy costs and reduced maintenance. Learn more at Hog Slat.com.

At this week’s Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines, Zoetis introduced their Individual Sow Care program — a comprehensive, on-farm training program designed to get production managers and on-farm caregivers on board with daily health, welfare and performance assessments – for every sow.

Veterinarian Eva Jablonski says sow mortality rates in the U.S. have increased dramatically in recent years and now average about 15 percent, leading Zoetis to create a training program focused on proactively assessing sow health, performance, body condition and environment as part of the quest to improve sow longevity and productivity.

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