The right genetics and management improve sow survival

For Mette Lundsgaard, the recipe for a healthy sow unit is the right feed strength and management of the sows throughout the cycle.

If you want healthy sows that wean many robust piglets, DanBred genetics spiced with the right management initiatives are essential elements on your farm. At least if you ask Mette Lundsgaard, who is the owner of the Danish pig production, Nyenstad, together with her husband Anders Lundsgaard. Here, they have a sow herd with the production of pigs up to 7 kg. Their sow mortality is only 7 percent, which is significantly below the Danish national average.

We constantly look at how we can do better on all parameters. For us, it is important that the sows have the right feed strength and feed, so that we are sure that they can perform optimally and feel good,” says Mette Lundsgaard.

The right backfat measurement

At Nyenstad, they produce 40.6 weaned pigs per sow per year. They have achieved this, among other things, by following SEGES Innovation’s recommendations for feeding and feed strength for the sows. DanBred also recommends following SEGES Innovation’s recommendations, as these are based on studies with DanBred pigs.

SEGES Innovation has recently updated the recommendations for feeding gilts.
You can find the latest recommendations in DanBred’s Sow & Gilt Manual.


In addition, they regularly measure the backfat using scanners. The backfat of the sows is scanned before farrowing and at weaning. This way, the employees ensure that the sows have the right body condition. If the right backfat thickness is not achieved, the feed strength should be adjusted to ensure that the sows can perform optimally in the farrowing unit.

When you follow the simple recommendations from DanBred and feed your pigs correctly, you also achieve world-class results.

Welcomes breeding goals with open arms

Even though they do a lot themselves at Nyenstad, the right genetics also makes a big difference – and Mette Lundgaard is happy with DanBred genetics. Since piglet survival became part of DanBred’s breeding goals in the summer of 2022, she, and the rest of the employees at Nyenstad, have clearly noticed that the piglets have become more robust.


We quickly saw a difference with the new trait, and that difference has been in effect ever since. The piglets are more vital and easier to care for. So, everything we can get through the breeding, we welcome with open arms,” says Mette Lundsgaard.

Advisor on top of working at the farm

10 years ago, Mette Lundsgaard started as an independent advisor alongside her work at Nyenstad. She could see that there was a demand from others who wanted to achieve the same great results as they do at Nyenstad. It is especially in the farrowing unit that her expert knowledge lies.

For me, it is important that there is a focus on the robust sow – especially when there is so much attention on our profession from the rest of society. We need a good and robust sow, and that sometimes require the right management,” she explains.

DanBred has recently implemented the trait ‘sow survival’ in the breeding goal, which will contribute to more robust sows.

It is important that you do not leave a task until tomorrow, but that you take care of what needs to be done today. This is how we have achieved a healthy sow unit here. And I look forward to experience DanBred’s new trait for sow survival,” concludes Mette Lundsgaard.