The latest physical performance data provided to AHDB/BPEX by Agrosoft shows that the productivity of GB breeding herds improved again during 2013.
The average number of piglets born alive per litter increased by nearly 0.3 to 11.82. Combined with a slight increase in the number of litters per sow, this led to an average of 27 piglets born/sow/year, almost one more than in 2012.
With slightly larger litters, it’s perhaps inevitable that the pre-weaning mortality rate increased marginally, from 12.7% to 13.1%. Despite this, the number of pigs weaned per litter rose to 10.26, an increase of 0.18 compared with 2012.This meant that the number of pigs weaned per sow rose from 22.9 to 23.5.
The overall productivity improvements were mainly down to gains in the performance of indoor breeding herds. The number of pigs weaned per sow rose from 24.11 to 24.93 for indoor herds, with improvements across most performance indicators.
Meanwhile, the figure for outdoor herds was almost unchanged at 21.69 pigs/sow. The number of piglets born per outdoor litter was slightly higher, but this was offset by a sizeable increase in mortality rates.
This perhaps reflects the difficult conditions in 2013, with cold weather in the spring, heat in the summer and rain in the autumn.