Comparison of Reproductive Performance in Pigs

Abstract:To achieve a competitive reproductive performance in organic pig farming is a major challenge for this farming practice. Practices and research data regarding conventional pig production are not always applicable to organic production, which is why field studies are needed to identify differences in performance between organic and conventional pig farms in order to identify areas for improvement. Performance data for one year was collected from 5 organic herds that had more than 30 sows in production and used a computerized recording system, and data from five nearby conventional farms with more than 30 sows and the same recording system were used as a comparison. In total data from 4697 farrowings were analyzed. In the organic pig herds, there were a higher total number of piglets born per litter (p=0.001), a higher number of piglets stillborn per litter (p<0.001), but a tendency (p<0.06) to lower number of weaned pigs per litter and longer nursing period (p<0.001) and farrowing interval (p<0.001). Conclusions: The reproductive performance was lower in the organic herds and the variation in reproductive performance among the organic herds was larger than among the conventional ones, suggesting options for improvement in the organic herds.

Reference: Lindgren, Y., Lundeheim, N., Boqvist, S., & Magnusson, U. (2013). Reproductive performance in pigs reared under organic conditions compared with conventionally reared pigs. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 55(1), 1-4.