Blogger

3225 views 4 comments

I trail a coat. Is the gilt really a 'herd contaminant'?

Parity segregation (where the replacement female up to the second lactation is kept physically separate from the rest of the herd) seems to be successful. Parity segregation promises fewer of certain diseases and a much longer sow productive life (SPL).

Parity segregation (where the replacement female up to the second lactation is kept physically separate from the rest of the herd) seems to be successful. Parity segregation promises fewer of certain diseases and a much longer sow productive life (SPL).

The concept is based on the premise that the young sow's immune system is immature and until she is older she is a disease shedder. If she is kept away from the older sows, which means having two herds within the one, the disease shedding effect is contained and thus not a brake on the productivity of the whole herd.

Results so far suggest that they outweigh the extra costs and possibly even make the extra hassle worthwhile.

Realisation
Parallel to this technology is the realisation that we haven't been feeding and managing these genetically-improved females we are increasingly buying too cleverly up until now. Nutritionally we may have fallen behind in not providing these gilts with the diets (special gilt developer, gilt gestation, and gilt lactation diets) they require.

Also that we have been in too much of a hurry to get them bred. And we have not defended them sufficiently from the depredations of the large and heavier first litters that these modern gilts can supply. The three together put a productive strain on the young sow which further delays it from forming a good immune barrier. Hence disease shedding.

Trailing a coat
The coat I'd like to trail here is not to decry the work on parity segegation as it is certainly making us think about things in a new light, but to ask if the good results have come mainly from our not treating the modern genetically-improved gilt as we should be doing by following now outmoded protocols and that parity segregation papers over these cracks?

There are about main 25 groundrules for the modern gilt. I find that when they are mostly followed then the farms are not overly plagued with reproductive disease. Also many of them already achieve SPLs (Sow Productive Lives) of between five to six litters which parity segregation does.

Area of benefit
The other area of benefit seems to be to keep the progeny of parity 0 and 1 females quite separate from those weaners from the older sows - which we all do at present. At least until they vacate the nursery. No special diets or medication unless the vet advises, just keep them apart environmentally and managementally and they all grow-out much better.

Both groups of weaners do - the 'shedders' and especially the 'uncontaminated'. This is much less costly as we would have to have the nursery accommodation anyway, rather than provide a whole mini-breeding unit for the younger sows. Isn't it interesting!

So as the exam paper says… 'Please discuss?'

4 comments

  • no-profile-image

    jj

    It works, requires larger units where it is viable, staff, buildings feed system and breed gilt big enough and old enough with special rations

  • no-profile-image

    reyno r. renton

    yes that is sa good idea since the young sow at second lactation of there productive life are still at the heigth of there strong performance level of production that this well be gradually diminished as they are getting older as that well start at the 3rd lactation of sow's life, with regard to diseases contamination 2nd lactation of sow's health they are barely catch a diseases unless they are under a poor management of husbandry.

  • no-profile-image

    o senior

    it is a good management practice but it require much space especially for group housing situation.

  • no-profile-image

    Nikos Linardos

    The principle is correct.
    But it is too much labor intensive and it requires special constructions to keep the gilts until the second lactation separated. Shouldn't it be a better to put the efforts on the better adaptation of the gilts? With a good adaptation program in a separate building until they stop shedding, we can achieve very good results.

Or register to be able to comment.