Article on Farm Journals Pork written by Jennifer Shike.
Sow death loss continues to rise. Many or most farms don’t have enough labor due to cost and availability. This leaves the pork industry asking a tough question: How can we make the most of the labor we have?
No one will argue the to-do list is long when it comes to managing sows. From detecting estrus to getting sows bred, and from loading sows into farrowing to making sure sows are eating well in lactation, there are many opportunities to improve management practices and efficiencies, says Mark Knauer, Ph.D., associate professor and Extension swine specialist at North Carolina State University.
“Where else can we save time?” Knauer asks. “For example, recent data suggests drying piglets does not enhance piglet survival. Therefore, time may be better spent checking temperatures on heat mats versus drying piglets. In addition, I think we can reduce labor needed to assist farrowings. There are pre-farrow nutritional strategies we can use to shorten farrowing duration and reduce the need to attend farrowings. If we can save labor in any of these areas, we can do a better job putting an eye on every sow every day.”
Here are six sow management trends to watch.
- Prioritize production costs
- Emphasize gilt and sow management
- Take a look at litter size
- Utilize artificial intelligence and labor more effectively
- Implement real-time data into daily decision-making
- Pay attention to consumer welfare concerns
Kuhr says at the end of the day, the key is to “take care of the animals and they will take care of us.”
Read more on the points mentioned in the full article HERE
6 Trends to Watch to Maximize Sow Farm Labor Resources