Considering the productivity of a sow farm does not hinge on any single parameter, but rather on the culmination of many parameters. Hypor, the swine brand of Hendrix Genetics, provides genetic solutions to help our customers be more productive and profitable in order to improve the sustainability of their operation.
Each year, we invite our Hypor Libra customers from around the world to participate in a yearly sow productivity benchmark. To present the results from 2020, we will share a series of three articles, each highlighting a different area:
- Litter Characteristics
- Reproductive Efficiency, and
This article covers the litter characteristics of the Hypor Libra around the world.
Figure 1 demonstrates the litter characteristics of the Hypor Libra in the past (solid lines), present, and future (dotted lines). In 2020, the top performing farms around the world delivered 15.4 total born, 14.5 born alive and 13.0 piglets weaned on average. These farms have achieved great litter performance, with only 9.8% pre-weaning mortality, demonstrating the quality of the piglets and the mothering ability of the sow. Looking to the future, our sustainable breeding goal for litter characteristics is centered around two ideas: there must be a functional teat for each piglet born and any increase in the number of piglets must be for total born, born alive, and weaned. In line with this breeding goal, we have set two standards for the future.
Our standard for functional teats: 4 x 4 = 16
The number of teats and the position are important. We are working towards 16 teats in total, with 4 sets above and 4 sets below the navel. The overall goal is that the number of functional teats equals the number of total born piglets to prevent the need for nurse sows.
Our standard for litter characteristics: 16-15-14
We have set the standard at 16 piglets total born, 15 piglets born alive, 14 piglets weaned. For every increase in total born, this should be accompanied by the same increase (or more) in born alive and weaned. This goal ensures that improvement in the number of total piglets, also means an improvement in weaned piglets.
The focus on weaning capacity has always been leading in our breeding program because the sow is the most efficient employee we have on the farm. A sow with the right number of functional teats allows all piglets to receive a high volume of colostrum and milk throughout the nursing period. Our customers are able to avoid the lost efficiency that comes with milk replacers and nurse sows.
Hypor is setting the standard in sustainable swine breeding by selecting for a sow with the right number of functional teats and excellent mothering ability, which will deliver the right litter characteristics for a productive farm and sustainable future.