How can I ensure stable body condition for gestating sows in cold weather?

Increasing feed strength by 0,2 FU per sow per day is common during the winter months. The reason is because their maintenance level rises in line with the temperature dropping. 
 

Feed curves for gestating sows

SEGES presented their new feed curves for gestating sows at the annual Swine Congress. The curve is higher for fat sows and lower for those with medium fat levels or are lean from day 31-76. This is done because their maintenance level is 2,3 FU per sow per day, and because lean sows need to put on a lot of weight during the first 4 weeks. After that point, there is no reason to boost their growth rate unnecessarily fast.

 

Feed curve, FE per sow per day. Change seen in ()
Days FAT MEDIUM LEAN GILT
0 2,5 3,0 4,5 2,2-2,4
26 2,5 3,0 4,5 2,2-2,4
31 2,3 (+0,3) 2,3 (-0,2) 3,5 (-0,2) 2,5-2,7
76 2,3 (+0,3) 2,3 (-0,2) 3,5 (-0,2) 2,5-2,7
81 3,5 3,5 3,5 (-0,5) 3,3
112 3,5 3,5 3,5 (-0,3 3,3
114 3,5 3,5 3,5 3,3
115 3,5 (+0,5) 3,5 (+0,5) 3,5 (+0,5) 3,0-3,5 (+0-0,5)
Farrowing  3,5 (+0,5) 3,5 (+0,5) 3,5 (+0,5) 3,0-3,5 (+0-0,5) 

The definition of fat sows is >16 mm back fat, good/average 13-16 mm back fat and lean, <13 mm back fat 

If the maintenance level is not stated, spreading of birth weight can be a risk. But the consequence will be that pregnant sows can increase their weight by up to 10 kg. On the other hand, the other groups will loose up to 6 kg. 

Our recommendation is to look at the optimum feed curve for each herd. 

 

Feed curves should not be lowered in the time up to farrowing

Part of the colostrum production takes place in late gestation, i.e. before the sow begins to farrow. To ensure the sow does not use an excessive amount of energy to produce milk by drawing on its own fat, but takes it from the feed instead, her energy level has to be held up better. Sows need energy to farrow, something which is very important when discussing stillborn piglets. 

If you have problems controlling fat levels in your herd, or in doubt about which feed curve to use, we will be happy to come and discuss it with you.

 

Contact your Vilomix consultant.