Did you know that by following a Danish feeding strategy, both the litter size and the number of born alive piglets can be significantly increased without additional feed costs regardless of genotype?
In late 2019 a study conducted by Zhou et al. confirmed that the Danish feeding system could significantly increase the litter size and number born of born alive piglets. Perhaps more importantly, the Danish feeding strategy also had a positive effect on North American genotypes- indicating that it is not only the Danish genetics that are superior but also Danish management strategies in pig production. The study was carried out to compare the effects of the North American and Danish feeding strategies on the reproductive performance of 1121 American Landrace Yorkshire crossbred sows during lactation, ranging in parity one to four. Each sow was randomly assigned to a feeding strategy based on their backfat measurement to ensure there was no bias in potential outcomes.
The North American and Danish feeding strategies are the two most widely used strategies in the world, however, they are totally contradictory in their recommendations in early and mid-gestation. In the North American system, feed intake is restricted in early gestation and gradually increased with the growth and development of the foetuses in middle to late gestation. In the Danish strategy, high levels of feed are provided in early gestation, low levels in mid gestation and increased in late gestation. The total feed intake of sows during gestation was approximately the same in both strategies, however the Danish system of feeding high amounts during early pregnancy increased the sows’ backfat thickness on day 30 of gestation- which is the ideal period in which a sow can recover body condition from a previous lactation.
The results also showed that the Danish feeding strategy significantly improved the number of total born and born alive piglets, as well as a significant increase in litter weight and piglet weight at weaning (associated with sow parity). By following the Danish feeding strategy, both the litter size and number of born alive piglets can be significantly increased without additional feed costs regardless of genotype. Within DanBred we are focused on the continuous improvement of superior genetics for our customers, this includes our technical team, which is always available to help implement efficient management strategies for customers all over the world, so that they too can release the superior genetic potential of their animals.
Zhou, Y.F.; Zhang, X.M.; Wang, C.; Wei, H.K.; Jiang S.W.; Peng, J. (2019): Effects of North American and Danish feeding strategies on the reproductive performance of American Landrace-Yorkshire crossbred sows during gestation. Livestock Science, Volume 228, October 2019, Pages 67-71 https://doi.org/10.1016/J.LIVSCI.2019.07.025