Producing Your Own Replacement Gilts With Selection and IBS Semen

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Over the past several years, some producers have found 40-60% replacement rates to be acceptable in their sow herd.  Deficiencies in soundness and reproductive performance have allowed these high replacement rates to become commonplace in the swine industry.  PigChamp data from 1999 shows the top 10% of herds to have an average culling rate of 25.5% with a 2.7% death loss, while the average herd was only achieving a 44.6% cull rate and a 6.9% death loss for an annual replacement herd rate of 56.9%  With this kind of performance, many sows are never reaching their most productive parities (third through fifth).  Dr. Ken Stalder (University of Tennessee), reported in the January 15, 2001 issue of National Hog Farmer that most sows will not show a positive net present value until reaching third litter.  Therefore, longevity needs to be high on the list as breeding herd sow.  

At IBS we have strived to maintain a balanced animal when it comes to our Maternal Line Boars.  While maternal genetics do provide one-half of the desirable traits to your market hogs, it is important to remember you are producing a female that you want and need to remain productively active in your herd for at least four parities   Therefore, traits such as structural soundness, number born and number weaned take on an increased priority in making your genetic selection.

When creating an internal multiplication program for your herd, the first decision is whether you will be creating parent females through a great-grandparent program (GGP) or through a grandparent program (GP).  In th GGP pyramid, 2.5 - 3% of your females are devoted to producing grandparent females.  These grandparent females will then contribute as 12-12.5% of the herd, leaving the remaining 85% to produce your market hogs.  The GP pyramid eliminates the great-grandparent herd.  Therefore you have 15% of your female as grandparents, to go along with the 85% females in your herd.

The GGP pyramid can be operated at a lower cost due to the introduction of fewer purchased females (3% vs. 15%), but producers need to evaluate at what size it is economically feasible to maintain an internal great-grandparent herd (For example, on a 100 sow herd you would only have 3 GGP sows, therefore you would be placing a great amount of risk on the performance of these animals).

One final advantage to an internal multiplication program is a reduced risk of disease introduction.  IBS boars are tested for many diseases affecting the swine industry, including PRV & PRRS.  Although disease can be transmitted through semen, the possibilities of this happening are significantly less.  Therefore allowing producers to concentrate on the productivity of their herd, instead of the transmission of new disease.

If an internal multiplication program is the direction you are selecting to move your herd, remember IBS for assistance in designing a program that will combine all traits necessary to make the program a successful one.

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International Boar Semen
30355 260th Street 
Eldora, IA 50627
          
1.641.939.3411
1.800.247.7877
 
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