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Take care of your growing gilts – Focus on optimising vitamin D levels

By Sigrid Beth Rasmussen, Junior Quality Manager, DanBred Are you aware that the correct vitamin D status will allow gilts and sows to reach their optimal KPI’s in production, helping to maximise their genetic potential? Vitamin D is essential for the absorbtion of calcium and phosphorus, promoting healthy bone growth, helping to ensure correct conformation and longevity. Focusing on optimising the diets for gilts by the correct inclusion level of vitamin D will help to set a prime starting point for significant lifetime productivity.   Skeletal development and bone strength in gilts Conformation is one of the important selection criterias …

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Feeding gilts during the rearing period

By Thomas Sønderby Bruun Senior Specialist, SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre    Abstract Feeding the rearing gilt is the key to longevity and prolificacy. DanBred Hybrid gilts should have at least 12 mm of backfat and a weight of 140–155 kg at first service. Feeding the rearing gilts according to the recommended feeding curve and with diets containing moderate levels of SID crude protein and SID lysine provides an opportunity to inseminate gilts in their second heat at an age of 230–250 days. To maximize litter size, flushing, i.e. minimum 3.4 kg of feed/day, should be initiated at 5–7 days …

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Ensuring optimal health – gilt introduction

By Lola Kathe Tolstrup, Senior consultant, DVM, PhD, SEGES Danish Pig Research Center, Livestock Innovation.   Abstract Gilts introduced in the sow herd must preferably have the same or higher health status as the sow population, to which they are being introduced. This is to ensure a match of the immune system capacity in the whole herd. If un-matched there can be disease outbreaks with costly consequences. Even though health status is matched, appropriate quarantine facilities and procedures are necessary to prevent introduction of new diseases into the herd as well as to protect new gilts from severe clinical disease …

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Flushing gilts initiated 5-7 days before service in second heat increases litter size

By Thomas Sønderby Bruun, Senior Specialist, SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre Abstract: Maximizing litter size in first parity is of outmost interest to optimize herd productivity. Boar exposure should be used strategically at the right gilt age and weigt to induce first heat. This allows the staff to plan the time for first service in the second heat and thereby to plan when to start the flushing period. Flushing in second heat has the potential to improve litter size in first parity. To discover the effects of flushing on hyper-prolific DanBred gilts, a large-scale experiment was conducted. Close to 2,000 …

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