Dr. Ken Stalder - Genetic and Management Methods to Improve Reproductive Efficiency in Sows
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Dr. Ken Stalder - Genetic and Management Methods to Improve Reproductive Efficiency in Sows

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Genetic and Management Methods to Improve Reproductive Efficiency in Sows - Dr. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University, from the 2012 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, September 15-18, St. Paul,......

Genetic and Management Methods to Improve Reproductive Efficiency in Sows - Dr. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University, from the 2012 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, September 15-18, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

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  • 1. Genetic and Management Methods to Improve Reproductive Efficiency in Sows Allen D. Leman Swine Conference: Pre-Conference Program University of Alberta-University of Minnesota Reproduction Workshop: 12 - September - 2012 Ken Stalder, PhD Professor & Extension Swine Specialist Iowa State University, AmesIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 2. Introduction Pork producer profits are constrained Increased feed costs Increased labor costs Increased regulatory issues Areas where production efficiency can be improved should be continually evaluated. Remain competitive with other protein food sources Remain competitive with other producers world- wideIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 3. Increased Cost of Production Feed costs have impacted pork production in many ways. Grow – finish cost of production Gilt development costs If feed costs had remained low and price high – Positive NPV attained within P1 or P2 Increased feed costs – Positive NPV attained ~ P3  Really high feed costs – Positive NPV will not be attained until feed costs decline or market price increasesIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 4. Sow Longevity Value Commercial producers and genetic suppliers are recognizing the value of sow longevity. Value of retaining sows in the breeding herd for a greater number of parities. Many contributing factors leading to a sow leaving the breeding herd earlier than farm management desires.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 5. Complexity of Sow Length of ProductiveLife Involvement of  Genetics  Environmental  Caretaker skills or stockmanship  Gilt development  Gilt conformation  Fecundity  Nutrition – Gilt development – Gestation – Lactation  Health  Housing – Pen vs. crated environment – Flooring  Behavior  Seasonal effects  Cull sow market priceIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 6. Introduction Many of these topics are not well researched particularly when modern housing systems and genetics are taken into consideration.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 7. Incidence of failure to breed, lameness and culling for old age, in the sows according to litter parity Dagorn & Aumaitre, 1978 100 90  Similar findings have been Cumulated percentage of culled sows reported in a more recent 80 70 60 50 40 popular press article in the 30 20 US 10 0  Conclusion very similar to those previously presented 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >10 Number of litters per sow Failure to breed Lameness Old Age Other  Challenging data  Retrospective data  Reported vs real reason sows are removedIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 8. Characterization of U.S. Midwestern cull sows Examined > 3,100 cull sows at harvest Obtained data from two harvest plants Farm production data from ~ 1,000 animals available Objective Characterize physical and reproductive conditions of cull sows from U.S. Midwestern sow harvest plantsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 9. U.S. cull sow study- data collection  Traits measured  Foot lesions (presence or absence)  Front pad lesions  Rear pad lesions  Front cracked toes  Rear cracked toes  Front digital overgrowth  Rear digital overgrowth  Front missing dew claws  Rear missing dew claws  Front abscesses  Rear abscessesIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 10. U.S. cull sow study- results Pad lesions- rear 67.5%, front 32.9%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 11. U.S. cull sow study- results Cracked toes- front 22.6%, rear 18.1%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 12. U.S. cull sow study- results  Sows with front cracked toes compared to sows without tended (P = 0.07) to have fewer pigs born alive/day/herd life (0.0703 vs. 0.0725)  equates to ~0.8 pigs/sow/yearIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 13. U.S. cull sow study- results Digital overgrowth- rear 21.1%, front 3.5%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 14. U.S. cull sow study- resultsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 15. U.S. cull sow study- results  Sows with rear digital overgrowth in comparison to sows without had  fewer (P < 0.05) pigs born alive in last litter (0.54)  tendency (P = 0.06) for decreased pigs born alive/day/herd life (0.0702 vs. 0.0724)  equates to ~0.80 pigs/sow/yearIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 16. U.S. cull sow study- results  Traits measured  reproductive tract evaluation  ovary status normal- 84.7% acyclic- 9.0% cystic- 6.3%  pregnant- 5.9%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 17. U.S. cull sow study- resultsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 18. U.S. cull sow study- results  Traits measured  shoulder lesions  none- 82.7%  abrasions- 12.5%  open wounds- 4.8%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 19. U.S. cull sow study- resultsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 20. U.S. cull sow study- results  Sows with shoulder lesions had 2.01 fewer (P < 0.05) lifetime pigs born alive compared to sows without shoulder lesionsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 21. U.S. cull sow study- results  Traits measured  Systematic lesions  Pneumonia- 9.7% 1-10% lung involvement from pneumonia- 5.0% 10% lung involvement from pneumonia- 4.7%  Pleural adhesions- 5.6%  Peritonitis- 1.7%  Other- < 1%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 22. U.S. cull sow study- resultsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 23. U.S. cull sow study- results  A higher percentage of lung involvement from pneumonia tended (P < 0.10) to be associated with higher producing sows (lifetime pigs born alive, pigs born/day/herd life)IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 24. U.S. cull sow study- results  Traits measured  Teeth  top teeth number  bottom teeth number  wear minimum- 10.5% moderate- 47.0% severe- 42.5%IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 25. U.S. cull sow study- resultsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 26. U.S. cull sow study- results  Sows with severe teeth wear in comparison to sows without had  fewer (P = 0.06) pigs born alive in last litter (0.44)  fewer (P < 0.01) pigs born alive/day/herd life (0.0704 vs. 0.0734)  equates to ~1.1 pigs/sow/yearIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 27. U.S. cull sow study- culling reasons Parity 1,2 3,4 5,6 7,8 9+Farm culling code n= 198 n= 145 n= 219 n= 201 n= 160Body condition, % 11.6 (2)a 15.2 (3) 9.6 (5) 7.5 (3) 5.6 (3)Old age, % 1.5 (6) 4.1 (6) 21.5 (2) 65.7 (1) 83.8 (1)Lameness, % 10.6 (3) 17.9 (2) 11 (4) 5.5 (4) 0.6 (6)Other, % 7.1 (4) 10.3 (4) 8.2 (6) 5.5 (4) 1.3 (5)Poor litter performance, % 6.1 (5) 6.2 (5) 19.6 (3) 2.5 (6) 2.5 (4)Reproduction, % 63.1 (1) 46.2 (1) 30.1 (1) 13.4 (2) 6.3 (2)a Rank of culling code within parity group.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 28. U.S. cull sow study- reproductive failure  No heat most frequent farm culling code in parity 1 (41.1%)  Did not conceive most common in parities 2 to 5 (39.2, 36.5, 25.4, and 27.4%, respectively)  Of the sows culled for reproductive failure, 86.2% were classified as having normal ovariesIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 29. U.S. cull sow study- summary U.S. cull sows evaluated at harvest had foot, reproductive, shoulder, and systemic lesions Body condition was associated with multiple abnormal conditions of sows Several conditions were associated with reduced sow performance parameters (lifetime pigs born alive, pigs born alive in last litter, pigs born alive/day/herd life) The majority of low parity sows were culled for reproductive failure, but ovaries were normal in appearanceIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 30. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity Study designed to estimate the phenotypic and genetic associations of gilt compositional and structural soundness traits with reproductive and longevity traits Determine factors measured or evaluated early in a sow’s life that are associated with superior sow productive lifetime.  Data collected through at least parity 5IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 31. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity The study involved 1447 females from two commercially available genetic lines. Gilts were on average 190 days of age and 124 kg body weight at the time of body composition and structural soundness evaluation. National Pork Board Funded projectIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 32. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity Traits evaluated Compositional traits Body weight, Loin muscle area, 10th rib backfat, and Last rib backfat.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 33. Genetic Effects on Sow LongevityIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 34. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity Reproductive traits evaluated  Lifetime total number born,  Lifetime number born alive,  Number born alive per lifetime days, and  Percentage productive days from total herd days. Lifetime, herd days and removal parity were considered as longevity traits.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 35. Means and heritability estimates for lifetime reproduction traits in study evaluating the relationship between compositional, structural soundness, reproductive performance and productive lifetime in commercial lines of sows.   REML Mean ± s.e. Mean ± s.e. P-valuea h² ± s.e.Lifetime reproduction Across genetic Grandparent line Parent line linesLifetime total numberborn 40.94 ± 1.74 46.01 ± 1.31 0.04 0.16 ± 0.06Lifetime number bornalive 37.71 ± 1.62 41.17 ± 1.14 0.04 0.17 ± 0.06LBA/Lb 0.040 ± 0.036 ± 0.001 0.001 0.005 0.16 ± 0.06PD%c 58.22 ± 1.48 62.79 ± 0.95 0.01 0.14 ± 0.06IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 36. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity  ~ 70% of the females were removed prior to the sixth parity. At the termination of data collection,  14% of the females were still alive and in production at the commercial sow herd.  Reproductive failure was the most frequent culling reason during the first three parities and it caused the loss of 16% of the research females before the fourth parity.  Culling for lameness or feet and leg problems primarily occurred prior to the third parity causing the removal of 7.5% of the young females.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 37. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity Heritability Estimates  Longevity traits 0.12 to 0.16  Lifetime reproduction traits 0.13 to 0.17  Compositional traits 0.50 - 0.70  Body structure traits 0.11 - 0.34  Leg structure traits 0.07 - 0.29  Greatest heritability estimates were obtained for weak front and rear pastern postures 0.28 and 0.29, respectively.  Overall leg action 0.12IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 38. Genetic Effects on Sow Longevity Genetic Correlation Estimates Most were low and non-significant (P > 0.05) Larger loin muscle area was significantly associated with greater lifetime, removal parity and lifetime number born Less upright rear legs were associated with greater lifetime born alive per day of life and percentage of productive days and intermediate rear foot size with greater lifetime and removal parities.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 39. Sow Longevity and Genetic Progress Relationship  Replacement and culling decisions should not be influence by the genetic progress occurring in the maternal lines from their genetic supplier.  Under the most optimistic genetic improvement situations, a sow would not be replaced until the 6 th or 7th parity.  This represents the parities where the value of the genetic progress that has occurred for maternal and growth traits is equal to or greater than the gilt development variable costs.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 40. Sow Longevity and Genetic Progress Relationship  The parity at which gilt development variable costs and the genetic progress value are equal defines the number of parities that commercial breeding herds should cull sows for old age.  Under realistic genetic improvement values, the cumulative value for the genetic improvement made across the traits is equal to the gilt development costs to at least the 10th parity or greater.  Genetic issues should not enter into culling / replacement decisions for breeding herd sowsIOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 41. Summary Many factors contribute to the ability of a sow to have a long and productive herd life. These factors include genetic and environmental issues. A renewed focus on sow nutrition research is warranted.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science
  • 42. Summary Many traits genetically correlated with sow productive lifetime and can be improved through selection. We cannot ignore the people factor on any production process including pork production. Caretaker skills / stockmanship / management ability, effects on the sow productivity cannot be underestimated.IOWA STATE UNIVERSITYDepartment of Animal Science