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Development of the sow caliper 2014 Swine Educators In-Service October 1, 2014 Knauer, M. Development of the sow caliper 2014 Swine Educators In-Service October 1, 2014 Knauer, M. T. , and M. Bryan [email protected] edu

NCSU Swine Extension Specialist u Focus – Swine genetics and production management u Appointment NCSU Swine Extension Specialist u Focus – Swine genetics and production management u Appointment – 70% extension, 30% research u Start date – July 2011

Training graduate students u Animal Science – Animal Breeding & Genetics – M. S. Training graduate students u Animal Science – Animal Breeding & Genetics – M. S. (4) v John Langdon v Cassie v Austin v Matt Ferring Putz Morrison – Ph. D (2) v Emily Cook v Miranda Bryan

Pellet quality Evaporative Cooling Genetics of piglet quality Sow body condition Selection for improved Pellet quality Evaporative Cooling Genetics of piglet quality Sow body condition Selection for improved reproduction under heat stress

Outline u Making a case for objective body condition tools u Research associating body Outline u Making a case for objective body condition tools u Research associating body condition and reproduction u Economic u Example impact of implementing the sow caliper feeding strategies u Summary

Sow feeding management concepts u Repartition gestation intake to lactation – Reducing gestation feed Sow feeding management concepts u Repartition gestation intake to lactation – Reducing gestation feed intake improves v Feed cost v Subsequent lactation feed intake – Increasing lactation feed intake improves v Litter weight gain v Wean-to-estrous interval v Subsequent farrowing rate v Subsequent litter size v Cull weight

Concept of repartitioning gestation feed to lactation Superior reproductive throughput Concept of repartitioning gestation feed to lactation Superior reproductive throughput

Feeding based on visual body condition Pros u Inexpensive Cons u Requires continuous training Feeding based on visual body condition Pros u Inexpensive Cons u Requires continuous training u Farm to farm variation u Potential for reduce profitability

Problem – visual BCS u If you cannot objectively measure body condition – How Problem – visual BCS u If you cannot objectively measure body condition – How will you v manage v will it? you improve?

Validating problems with BCS Thin Optimal Sow caliper score Fat Validating problems with BCS Thin Optimal Sow caliper score Fat

Differences in body condition Farm 1 Farm 2 Differences in body condition Farm 1 Farm 2

Problem – visual BCS Underfeeding Overfeeding High feed costs Impaired reproduction Farrowing problems Well-being Problem – visual BCS Underfeeding Overfeeding High feed costs Impaired reproduction Farrowing problems Well-being concerns Increased preweaning mortality

Problem – visual BCS High feed costs Farrowing problems ↑ preweaning mortality Impaired reproduction Problem – visual BCS High feed costs Farrowing problems ↑ preweaning mortality Impaired reproduction Well-being concern Optimal Sow caliper score

Adoption of objective body condition tools u Standardize u Train farms & people new/existing Adoption of objective body condition tools u Standardize u Train farms & people new/existing employees to visually score sow condition u Fast and accurate tools will reduce weaned pig cost

Exp. 1 – Define ideal body condition in relation to reproduction u Commercial u Exp. 1 – Define ideal body condition in relation to reproduction u Commercial u August u 1, 500 sow farm in eastern NC 2012 - May 2013 whiteline sows u Multiparous

Sow housing u Stalls – Weaning to ~35 days u Pens – ~35 days Sow housing u Stalls – Weaning to ~35 days u Pens – ~35 days to farrowing – 8× 10 ft – 4 to 5 sows per pen

Body condition traits u Caliper score (CS) u Weight (WT) u Backfat (BF) u Body condition traits u Caliper score (CS) u Weight (WT) u Backfat (BF) u Loin eye area (LEA) u Visual BCS – 1 -5 by experienced technician

Using the caliper – find the last rib Using the caliper – find the last rib

An objective body condition tool – Knauer sow body condition caliper the sow caliper An objective body condition tool – Knauer sow body condition caliper the sow caliper

The concept… Adapted from Edmonson et al. (1989) The concept… Adapted from Edmonson et al. (1989)

The concept… Adapted from Edmonson et al. (1989) The concept… Adapted from Edmonson et al. (1989)

Statistical analysis u Data analyzed with SAS using PROC GLM u Fixed effects – Statistical analysis u Data analyzed with SAS using PROC GLM u Fixed effects – group – barn – group x barn interaction – parity u Example model – reproductive trait = group + barn + group*barn + parity + body condition trait

Relationships between body condition measures at breeding with subsequent reproductive performance CS CS 2 Relationships between body condition measures at breeding with subsequent reproductive performance CS CS 2 WT BF LEA 2 BCS 2 NBA BW NW WW PS WCI = (P<0. 05) 2 Denotes quadratic body condition term. NBA= number born alive, BW= litter birth weight, NW= number weaned, WW= litter weaning weight, PS= piglet survival, WCI=wean-to-conception interval.

Optimum sow caliper score for piglet survival Optimum sow caliper score for piglet survival

Lighter weight sows had greater piglet survival Parity p>0. 05 Lighter weight sows had greater piglet survival Parity p>0. 05

Optimum sow caliper score for reproductive throughput Optimum sow caliper score for reproductive throughput

Exp. 2 – Define ideal body condition change in relation to reproduction u Commercial Exp. 2 – Define ideal body condition change in relation to reproduction u Commercial sow farm in eastern NC – 885 sows – 250 gilts u Smithfield u February Premium Genetics to August, 2013

Traits measured Ultrasound backfat 2 3 Sow caliper 4 Farm body condition score Heart Traits measured Ultrasound backfat 2 3 Sow caliper 4 Farm body condition score Heart girth (gilts) 28

Backfat, BCS, caliper and gilt weight traits Gestation gain Gain late gestation Gain early Backfat, BCS, caliper and gilt weight traits Gestation gain Gain late gestation Gain early gestation breeding day 35 day 105

Statistical analysis u 24 body condition traits related to reproduction u Data analyzed with Statistical analysis u 24 body condition traits related to reproduction u Data analyzed with SAS using PROC GLM u Fixed effects – farrowing group – parity u Example model – reproductive trait = farrowing group + parity + body condition trait

Results – in general u Reproduction associated with – Gilts v body condition change Results – in general u Reproduction associated with – Gilts v body condition change but not specific body condition – Sows v specific change body condition but not body condition

Results - gilts At breeding Day of Early Late Day 35 of gestation 105 Results - gilts At breeding Day of Early Late Day 35 of gestation 105 gain Gestation gain NBA Backfat STB NW NBA BCS STB NW NBA Caliper score STB NW NBA Weight STB NW NBA= number born alive, STB= stillborn, NW= number weaned. = (P<0. 05)

Results - sows At breeding Day of Early Late Day 35 of gestation 105 Results - sows At breeding Day of Early Late Day 35 of gestation 105 gain Gestation gain NBA Backfat STB NW NBA BCS STB NW NBA Caliper score STB NW NBA= number born alive, STB= stillborn, NW= number weaned. = (P<0. 05)

Gilts that gained condition during gestation farrowed fewer piglets Gilts that gained condition during gestation farrowed fewer piglets

Identifying “ideal” sow body condition Exp. 1 Exp. 2 Identifying “ideal” sow body condition Exp. 1 Exp. 2

Benchmarking gestation feed intake Gestation feed intake per day, lb. Agri Stats 2005 to Benchmarking gestation feed intake Gestation feed intake per day, lb. Agri Stats 2005 to 2010

18, 000 sows - implementation of sow caliper in 2013 savings of $285, 000, 18, 000 sows - implementation of sow caliper in 2013 savings of $285, 000, $15. 82 per sow 8 farms – 18, 000 sows

18, 000 sows - implementation of sow caliper in 2013 18, 000 sows - implementation of sow caliper in 2013

Fast improvement in sow herd body condition possible u Average herd caliper score improved Fast improvement in sow herd body condition possible u Average herd caliper score improved from 18. 2 to 15. 0 in four months Optimal

Implications – feeding management 3. 5 lb Gilts caliper ≤ 11 = 5 lb Implications – feeding management 3. 5 lb Gilts caliper ≤ 11 = 5 lb caliper =12 to 15 = ? lb caliper ≥ 16 = 3. 5 lb increase feed 2 lb Gestation breeding ~day 7 day 93

Implications – feeding management Sows caliper ≤ 11 = 5 lb caliper =12 to Implications – feeding management Sows caliper ≤ 11 = 5 lb caliper =12 to 15 = ? lb caliper ≥ 16 = 3. 5 lb ad libitum Lactation W 2 E breeding increase feed ? ? ? Gestation day 93

Implications – feeding management 3. 5 lb Gilts Sows caliper ≤ 11 = 5 Implications – feeding management 3. 5 lb Gilts Sows caliper ≤ 11 = 5 lb caliper =12 to 15 = ? lb caliper ≥ 16 = 3. 5 lb increase feed 2 lb Gestation breeding ~day 7 day 93 caliper ≤ 11 = 5 lb caliper =12 to 15 = ? lb caliper ≥ 16 = 3. 5 lb ad libitum Lactation W 2 E breeding increase feed ? ? ? Gestation day 93

Implications – feeding management u Feeding level for “ideal” females may vary between farms Implications – feeding management u Feeding level for “ideal” females may vary between farms – Variation in drop boxes, etc. u Caliper usage – Gilts v ~7 days after breeding v every 3 to 5 weeks - as needed – Sows v v u at breeding every 3 to 5 weeks - as needed 90% of sows should be “ideal” (caliper score of 12 to 15) at day 93 of gestation

Summary u Repartitioning gestation feed intake to lactation can improve herd reproduction/profitability u The Summary u Repartitioning gestation feed intake to lactation can improve herd reproduction/profitability u The sow caliper is an objective tool that can be used to manage body condition – We recommend maintaining sows at a caliper score between a 12 and 15 – Sow calipers are available to the public – contact [email protected] edu

Summary u Sows – “Ideal” body condition in relation to sow reproductive throughput was Summary u Sows – “Ideal” body condition in relation to sow reproductive throughput was identified – Heavy sows have greater preweaning mortality u Gilts – A one caliper score increase in body condition during gestation decreased NBA by 0. 57 piglets

Body condition extension materials u Sow body condition poster – Free – Available @ Body condition extension materials u Sow body condition poster – Free – Available @ pork. org – Pork Store

Thank you Dave Baitinger Miranda Bryan Dr. Dustin Kendall Frank Hollowell Mark Daughtry Tommie Thank you Dave Baitinger Miranda Bryan Dr. Dustin Kendall Frank Hollowell Mark Daughtry Tommie Dale Bob Ivey Stacey Jones Dr. Cary Sexton

Thank you for your time Mark Knauer mtknauer@ncsu. edu Thank you for your time Mark Knauer [email protected] edu