Synchronised production flow is the golden key for unlocking your pig unit performance. There are two approaches to production flow management.
1) Why we would want to have a synchronised production flow? What would it mean on our farm, if we are able to control the production flow and increase pig performance?
2) When and how do we do it? Are the staff on the farm able to follow the rules and develop systems that create consistency?
A consistent flow of gilts and sows to the farrowing house gives the best utilisation of production facilities. It is not possible to compensate for a lack of gilts/sows in one batch by loading more sows in the next batch. While a farm may reach the average targeted services and average targeted farrowings, there may well be a huge weekly variation. This leads to holding back sows which need culling, sows from different weeks in the same farrowing house and sows being weaned either too early or too late.
Appropriate gilt management is important for breeding efficiency and an increasing number of Irish pig herds are now synchronising their gilts. Synchronisation of oestrus in gilts in weekly managed systems improves the flow of breeding animals within different parts of the breeding unit. Planned number of gilts in heat for each particular batch allows having the right number of gilts at the appropriate age served every week which enables reduction of a gilt pool. Lower average age results in decreased cost per gilt in terms of housing and feeding expenses on
Gilts are a massively important part of any pig farm and the management of these gilts is essential to ensure we get the most from them while being as efficient as we can. For example, many Irish pig farms have a larger pool of gilts than they need and when translated into money, this is where producers can make a saving.
Interchem’s Technical Specialist, Lisa Hopkins, is available to discuss how we can help you become more efficient when selecting and breeding your gilts – the future of your herd. Lisa will set your farm up on Repronomics and demonstrate how to get the best value and information from the tool.
Figure 1: Gilt service spread
Figure 1 shows how an Irish herd who are synchronising gilts were able to reduce their gilt
service spread from 7 days a week to a 2-3 day window thus allowing the staff to service gilts
on the same day as weaned sows and subsequently farrow on the same days.
Synchronising production flow leads to; consistent and synchronised farrowing; significant cost saving from reduced and optimised feed consumption; increased sow lifetime performance and increased piglet quality at weaning.
In conjunction with your veterinary practitioner, additional support services can help pig producers in the development and management of production plans and production flow alignment solutions. A range of free technical services are available that are focused on providing high quality bespoke management tools for your specific production profile. A long term approach is taken that makes sure you are continually updated with key best practice developments, enabling you to truly benefit from implementing controlled and consistent gilt synchronisation.
Repronomics is a farm management tool that focuses on how the reproductive performance of your sows and gilts effects the overall performance and ‘flow’ of your farm. An economic value and an efficiency percentage is calculated for your farm and this will highlight areas that require improvement, for example, farrowing rate, replacement gilts required, stocking densities etc. This tool is available, free, to producers on a gilt synchronisation programme with Interchem.