Recognising that pregnant sows are increasingly being managed in group housing systems, the CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC) has driven the production of a manual, ‘Feeding Pregnant Sows in Group Housing Systems’.
Launched by Pork CRC CEO, Dr Roger Campbell at the 2013 Victorian Pig Fair in Bendigo, it was produced with considerable producer input and in conjunction with Australian Pork Limited (APL).
“The manual incorporates much of the information which emerged from earlier Pork CRC research, which effectively turned on its head what we previously thought.
“We now have solid evidence that increasing feed intake of gestating sows in early pregnancy can increase reproduction and that by increasing feed, less dominant sows get adequate nutrition. This is very important with highly competitive group housed sows.
“Conversely, Pork CRC research showed increasing feed in late gestation, even for sows with big litters, had little or no effect, so it seems consistent, early feeding is the trick,” Dr Campbell said.
The manual can be viewed on the Pork CRC website and hard copies will be mailed to Australian pork producers.