Meryl with Pigs

AHDB Pork’s team works with pig producers and pork processors providing tools and information to help their businesses. At the same time, it works with the pork supply chain to promote pork to consumers and develop new export markets. AHDB Pork’s mission is to help English pig production and processing businesses become more competitive and profitable.

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By Kim Brook at 14 Apr 2016, 14:54 PM on Flies are fascinating - Angela Cliff, KE Manager

By Angela Cliff at 3 May 2016, 10:15 AM on Flies are fascinating - Angela Cliff, KE Manager


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A young herd is the most productive

A pig unit should aim for at least 45% of sows to be in parities three to five, as these are the most productive animals. 20–25% of production should be from gilts so it is important there are enough gilts available to serve.

To calculate the target annual replacement rate, producers need to decide what the target number of litters per sow lifetime is, ie an average lifetime of five parities. If the farrowing index is 2.33 litters per year, the whole herd turnover is calculated as 5 / 2.33 = 2.15 years. So target annual replacement rate will be 100 / 2.15 = 46.5%. Actual replacement rate is the number of served gilts introduced expressed as a % of the average herd size for the year. Alternatively, multiply the average number of served gilts (% of the herd) by the farrowing index, ie 20.5% x 2.33 = 47.8%.

The higher the litters per sow per year and the lower target litters per lifetime, the higher the replacement rate will be. The cost implications also need to be monitored and evaluated.

Feel free to contact me directly or comment below if you’d like more information on this.

By AHDBPork at 14 Feb 2013, 11:16 AM


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