Length of productive life of sows in the Czech Republic - how long to use sows in optimum?
The changes of culling pattern on parities lead to changes in herd age structure and herd profitability. Immature sows show worse reproduction performance due to longer farrowing interval and lower number of born piglets in the litter. The impact of changes in herd age structure on herd productivity was simulated in EwPig software (Wolf et al., 2016). Default setting of the software was made to describe production and economic parameters of herds (from nucleus to production herds) used Czech pig breeding program. The simulation was performed via increasing of sow losses in parities by three ways: sow losses were increased for all parities on regular basis, sow losses were increased only after the first and second parity, sow losses were increased for parities after fifth parity. For all simulated situations the pattern of changes in costs per piglet weaned was similar: costs increased from 32.7 € (optimal herd age structure) to 34.2 € per piglet weaned due to higher amount of costs needed for gilt replacement. The highest impact of the younger herd on costs per piglet weaned were found when losses were increased only after first and second parity due to changes in ratio between immature sows with lower reproduction performance (1st and 2nd parity sows) and sows with highest performance (from 3rd to 4th parity). Increased losses after the 5th parity affected the cost per weaned piglet least. In this case there was growth in costs per piglet weaned about 1,37 € when the sows after 5th parity disappeared from herd.
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