Canada’s pork producers are being invited to participate in a survey to help identify and address the factors that contribute to increased sow mortality and culling.
The University of Saskatchewan, the Prairie Swine Centre, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement and the Centre de développement du porc du Québec, in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc are conducting a survey of farm factors related to sow management and culling.
Canadian producers with sow barns are invited to provide information to help identify factors related to sow health, reasons for culling and mortality.
Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement CEO Brian Sullivan says sow culling and mortality figures have increased over the past decade but the reasons are not well understood.
This project was prompted by some significant changes that are happening in the industry. The changes in mortality and culling may be a symptom of some of these other things. One big change, for example, is the movement from housing gestating sows individually to housing them in groups. Another big change is the increase in litter size from, genetic selection and environmental improvements on farms.
Good sows are typically going to produce four or more litters and, although some general reasons for culling are known, such as reproductive failure, the specific reasons for culling or factors that lead to something like reproductive failure are not that well understood. This project’s goal is to help us better understand these factors.
~ Brian Sullivan, Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement
Sullivan says survey results will be analysed to determine reasons for variability between farms and identify key management factors in herds with really good outcomes compared to herds that experience high culling or mortality rates.
For information on the survey contact the Prairie Swine Centre or your provincial pork organization.