Political focus on sow survival – how can feed play a role?

Published: 2024-03-21

Since 2017, the survival of sows in Denmark and other countries worldwide has been decreasing, and in the latest calculation from Statistics Denmark, the mortality rate was as high as 16.5%.

For a long time, political eyes have been focused on animal welfare in the Danish sow herds, and the declining survival rate has resulted in a political agreement on animal welfare at the beginning of 2024 – the first of its kind in Denmark. The agreement includes, among other things, an upper level must be set for a herd's sow mortality rate before action is taken by the authorities. There will be a demand for increased control and action plans, so sow survival is again raised and brought to the (yet to be determined) permitted level.

That the development in sow survival goes the wrong way is not only compromising for animal welfare but in particular is also inappropriate for the economy. In a production herd that purchases gilts, each percentage point reduction in mortality can be estimated as a financial gain of approx. 6.7 EUR/year sow. Therefore, there will be a great gain by focusing on the challenges that may exist in the various herds - both financially and in terms of animal welfare

Kristina Sørensen
Product manager, pigs
+ 45 2144 3628

Some of the most important factors that contribute to low survival are environment and management (Danish Agriculture and Food Council, 2024). These factors will therefore be a large part of the solution to increasing survival. Several other workflows can contribute positively to increasing sow welfare, and should be brought into a holistic approach to sow welfare, e.g. the many facets of the feed should be evaluated to achieve optimal productivity.

Read more on factors affecting sow survival in this article below published in pig333.com.

Any questions?

Please contact one of our nutritionists in Vilomix.

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