BPEX blog

Friday, 29 October 2010

Low-stress sows key to reproduction

Removing stress factors in gilts and sows is key to good reproductive performance. That was a clear message from Dutch pig expert Dr Nicoline Soede at this week’s Two-Tonne Sow (2TS) Focus on Breeding events, organised by BPEX.

English pig producers were keen to hear what it is that helps the Netherlands’ industry achieve an average 27 pigs weaned per sow per year. They took the chance to quiz Dr Soede and her colleagues Professor Bas Kemp and Dr Hanneke Feitsma on many aspects of reproductive management.

Nicoline emphasised that one of the most important factors for successful insemination timing and establishing pregnancy is to minimise stress and focus on ‘animal-directed’ management.

Bas Kemp explained the delicate balance between under and over feeding during early lactation and gave clear advice on the different requirements of sows and gilts. And the importance of close attention to detail was highlighted by Hanneke Feitsma, as she shared her knowledge on current and future AI technologies.

There were 190 attendees between the two events, held in Wetherby and Milton Keynes. Producer Simon Watchorn said afterwards: “It was one of the best events I’ve been to and the most I’ve ever learned. I’ll be reviewing whether there are things I can change on my own unit.”

Look out for more advice and information from the conference at www.2TS.org.uk in the next few weeks. Also check for local meetings on the events pages, where there will be more discussion of these topics.

Did you attend either of the events? Was there anything discussed you found particularly useful that you might apply to your business?

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