BPEX blog

Monday, 27 February 2012

How many gilts and how to manage them?

Calculating replacement gilt numbers and the criteria for gilt selection and management were among the key topics for our latest stockman training in the south. Vet Jennie Batt trained the Wiltshire and Oxford groups and Annie Davies trained the group in Devon – 28 stockmen in total.

They outlined how to calculate the numbers of gilts required, taking into account replacement and conception rates, time in isolation and time taken to clean and disinfect the pen.

Jennie showed the stockmen photos of different gilts, and asked them to decide which gilts they would keep or not , based on criteria for selecting replacement gilts – genetic traits, toes, legs, teats and external genitalia.

Feed and water requirements of the growing gilt were covered along with body condition scoring and how to increase or decrease scores, for example, a 0.2kg increase in feed per day to bring about a 0.5 point increase in body condition score.

Annie highlighted the importance of the wean-service interval and how the number of empty days impacts on litters per sow per year and numbers of pigs produced.
Contact Charlotte West, knowledge transfer manager for the south of England, for more details on training or pig club meetings in the region.

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