Newly weaned sows need feed, water and light to stimulate the next cycle
Excessive weight loss in the farrowing house can cause a critical delay in a sow’s production cycle. The longer it takes to regain weight after weaning, the more unproductive days are likely to pass before the sow is ready for the next insemination.
To ensure maximum productivity, producers need to inseminate at least 90% of their sows no more than six days after weaning the previous litter. That requires stimulation of the heat hormones and ovulation by providing the right amount of feed, water and light.
Start of a chain reaction
Although weight loss is a normal occurrence during lactation, a range of factors related to feed level, health status and appetite can cause sows to lose more weight than usual. To overcome such challenges, ad libitum feeding is typically the most successful way forward. The increased level of glucose in the blood then leads to a chain reaction – insulin production goes up, the level of the hormone estradiol rises in blood plasma and ovulation gets underway. This is supported by the rising level of luteinising hormone, caused by higher protein intake.