Good fertility in sows is the basis of a good operating result. This makes fertility an important aspect to achieve goals. There are several parameters that provide insight into the fertility status. You can look at the age at first insemination, the number of days between weaning and the first insemination, the number of inseminations per mating, mummies, number of live and stillborn piglets. There is a lot of data that can be analyzed and controlled. The FertiSow Pig Program has been specially developed for this purpose.
It is the key figure that contributes most to the sow farmer’s balance: number of live born piglets. In order to bring many live-born piglets into the world, the fertility of the sow must be as optimal as possible. Minerals play an important role in this.
Much attention is also paid to the micro-minerals or: trace elements (Peters & Mahan 2008). The most important are copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, iron, cobalt and selenium. For example, manganese is important for reproduction and metabolism. A shortage of this leads to weak-born piglets, irregular estrus and reduced milk production. Zinc deficiency is known to prolong the farrowing process, resulting in more stillborn piglets and small litters of weak piglets. A shortage of iodine also has the consequence that the farrowing process is prolonged with all its consequences (Boehringer Ingelheim, 2013).
It has been scientifically proven that highly productive sows consume more (micro) minerals than low productive sows. Over the past 20 years, piglet production per sow per year has increased by more than 30% (Boehringer Ingelheim, 2013). This means that the supply of minerals and trace elements is also becoming increasingly important. Organically bound trace elements offer advantages because they are better absorbed into the body.