K-State new method of estimating sow weight

08-10-2007 | |

An estimate of the body weight of a sow is the first important step to efficient feeding.

According to an animal scientist at a Kansas State University, the body weight determines around 80% of the feed needs of a gestating sow.

However, a precise estimation of each sow’s weight is extremely difficult.

Hence, according the Mike Tokach, state leader of K-State Research and Extension’s animal science programs, swine specialists within the university have developed a method to make the process easier for producers.

‘Flank-to-flank’ measurement
Tokach stated further that a ‘flank-to-flank’ measurement forms the basis for the estimation of a sow’s weight. This measurement enables a more accurate determination of daily feed amounts.

The university scientists have gone further by creating a cloth tape with respective colour-coded sections, each of which corresponds to a certain weight.

A ‘flank-to-flank’ measurement involves measuring from immediately in front of the sow’s back legs, over the back of the sow to the point of the other flank.

Correct feed amounts
“Once the weight group is established, a tool on the university’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry website can be used to determine correct feed amounts”, said Tokach.

The university is also selling a sow weight tape.

Related website:
• Kansas State University

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