THE productivity of the pig breeding herd is usually measured in terms of the number of pigs reared within a given time period by each sow. In simple terms, the aim is to produce as many litters within the time period as possible (ie, minimising lost or empty days) and to rear as many pigs as possible from each litter. This article examines the physiology of the gilt/sow and litter at the different stages of the production cycle and discusses how management, and nutrition in particular, can influence the breeding outcome.
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