1. Gestation period

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Healthy sow for the best next litter

Where does successful gestation start?

Successful gestation starts with successful conception. And conception takes place in the farrowing room. Here, the new ova sizes are formed which will form the next litter.

There are two major important parts during the lactation

  1. It is important that the sow doesn't lose 10% of her bodyweight after farrowing, because if she loses more it will have a negative effect on the next litter and on the interval weaning to oestrus.
  2. It is very important that the sow eats very gradually, because if she eats more one day and the next day she doesn't eat her total portion this has a big negative effect on the ova size and on the conception rates.

How to improve embryonic development?

After insemination the sow comes here to the gestation room. 5 days after conception the embryos will reach the uterus and they will spread evenly over the 2 uterine horns. Approximately 20 days after conception the embryos will nest in the uterus and placentas are formed. In this period it is very important that sows get the same average of food every day, because if they take in more kilos one day and fewer kilos the next day it has a negative effect on the embryos and more sows will be returned into estrus. The biggest problem of group housing is feed competition. If sows have to fight for the feed you will have more lameness, more mortality and claw problems in sows. Because if there is a lot of competition and fighting you will have lesions in the back of the sows or even biting on the vulva. You can solve this problem by closing the hind ports of the sow during feeding.

Phase feeding of sows during gestation

With regard to feed the gestation can be divided in three different phases. The first phase after conception is focused on restoring body condition which the sow has lost in lactation. So in the second phase of gestation you focus on getting this body condition stable and all sows in the same production group to the same condition. In the third part of gestation you focus on the piglets. You are feeding for good and healthy piglet so the sow will need a little bit more feed or more protein in the feed.

How does successful gestation end?

Successful gestation also ends in the farrowing room. You want to have a nicely developed sow who has a good full belly that is not too fat. In the farrowing room they will get lactation feed instead of gestation feed. It is important that she gets enough for herself and of course her piglets and it is essential that there is plenty of water available for the sow because she needs this water to produce her colostrum and milk. Every day you must check their droppings because there is a risk of obstipation from this change of feed and if this happens you face a higher risk of a bad start of lactation which is negative for your piglets.