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By Mark Knauer, North Carolina State University
Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a series of nutrition workshops and present on sow body condition management. Among the participants posed the concern “why do we still have plant herds that are fat?” At a break in the program I located the participant to guarantee my answer sufficed and to see what viewpoints I may acquire. The attendee believed that farmers did not comprehend the true expense of having fat sows. Later on that same day a big manufacturer was seeking to develop a model to comprehend what fat plants cost. Hence with the offered data I have, I will assemble an example cost price quote for having a fat sow herd.A fat plant herd hits your wallet two times. Not just does it take excess feed (resulting in greater feed costs) to create a fat plant, heavy plants wean fewer piglets. In some of our initial deal with sow condition management, we looked at two farms (Farm A & & B) within the exact same production system. Exact same genes, feed from the exact same feed mill, very same facilities. The main difference between the 2 farms was the individuals changing the feed drop boxes. Average sow weight at Farm A and B was 546 and 486 pounds, respectively. A distinction of 60 pounds. Assuming a feed: gain ratio of 4.5 (Knauer et al., 2008), 270 pounds of additional feed would be required per plant. Assuming a typical parity of 3.5, 193 pounds of feed per plant each year. If feed expense is $.10 per pound. x 193 pounds of feed = $19.30 in additional feed expenses per plant per year.Besides greater feed expenses, over conditioned sows wean less pigs. In research studies where we have actually caught sow weight, a 100 pound increase in plant weight was related to.55 fewer piglets weaned. Farm A, being 60 pounds much heavier, would wean.33 fewer piglets per litter x 2.5 litters per year x $35 per weaned pig = $28.88 in lost piglet throughput. Adding together the additional feed costs and decreased piglet throughput related to overconditioned plants, we can see Farm A was costing the producer almost $50 per plant per year ($19.30 + $28.88 = $48.18).

While these computations are a good start, arguably more work is required to better comprehend the true expense of maintaining a fat sow herd. Increased feed expenses and minimized reproductive performance, fat sow herds might have poorer longevity as sows are eliminated for being too huge. It is assumed lighter plants will eat more in lactation, yet this increased feed expense need to be more than balanced out by boosted subsequent farrowing rate and litter size. In summary, fat plants are costly. Perhaps much better understanding the real expense of having a fat plant herd will encourage producers to better handle sow body condition.References Knauer, M. T., M.

T. See, J. A.
Hansen, A. L. P. de Souza, and D. C. Kendall. 2008( Abstr. ). Response of cull sows to ad libitum feeding. J. Anim. Sci. 86(E-Suppl. 3):64.