How to achieve the optimal replacement rate of the sow herd

The balance between maximizing the benefits of high production parities and introducing new genetically improved gilts in the herd is decisive for a sow farm production efficiency and profitability. An optimal replacement rate should stay around 50%. To achieve that, a few points need to be taken into consideration.

By Julia Linck Moroni, AIM specialist Topigs Norsvin Global Technical Support

  1. Plan the parity structure of your herd.
    Always work together with your technical services team. Not replacing enough sows can limit genetic improvement and impact productivity as the herd gets too old. Conversely, replacing too many sows can create impaired immunity and compromise herd productivity.
  2. Invest in proper gilt development and acclimation.
    The production on the first parity dictates the sow’s performance throughout her lifetime and contributes to her longevity in the herd.
  3. Keep the sow herd in optimal body condition.
    From the gilt’s first insemination to the following parities, this management maximizes the productivity, profitability, and longevity of the sows in the herd.
  4. Invest time in basic reproductive management.
    This is crucial to allow the sows to express their full potential and avoid suboptimal reproductive performance in different parities. Consequently, early removals due to compromised production can be avoided.
  5. Always work together with your herd veterinarian.
    Losses related to sow mortality should always be avoided, as it reduces the profitability and productivity of the herd.

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