March 28, 2017
HKScan reports positive results with Topigs' swine breed
HKScan was one of the first to use the TN70 swine breed developed by Topigs Norsvin, and has reported positive results.
More than one year later since introducing the TN70, Jan Vugts, advisor at HKScan, said: "The TN70 is a different kind of genetics. We have seen a dramatic increase in the sow productivity. We have also made some changes to our management to gain the maximum benefit from the genetics."
The previous HKScan F1 was produced by crossing the Norwegian Landrace with the Swedish Yorkshire. The HKScan producers have seen a dramatic increase in the sow productivity since the switch from the Swedish Yorkshire to the Z-line. The key improvements are seen in better / stronger legs, fertility, milk production and longevity.
Due to the increased piglet production, HKScan decided to reduce the number of sows in its chain by 10%. The reduction not only stopped the overproduction of piglets, but it also improved the situation on farms. Less pressure on the farrowing sections made it possible to wean the piglets when they were a slightly older, which had a positive effect on the fertility, litter size, and weaning weight and age.
One challenge for the producers is optimising the feeding of sows. Due to the large litter size and the potential to produce excessive milk, the condition of the young sow is susceptible to rapid deterioration. "This is why we recommend inseminating the gilts at an age of 250 days and a weight of 155-160 kg," Topigs explains. "At farrowing, the gilts should be 235-245 kg. During the late lactation feeding should be close to ad lib and during the first five weeks after insemination, we recommend giving at least 27 MJ NE for a sow in a good condition and 32-36 MJ NE for a skinny sow."
Performance per parity at the farm with the highest production level in 2016 is 33.38 piglets weaned per sow per year.
"At the moment, we are updating our protocols and data collection system so that we can improve the data reliability and selection at our purebred farms," Topigs says. "Our target for the future is to have an up-to-date TSI of every sow in our chain (L-line and TN70). Then we can select a sow not only on the basis of productivity but also on the genetic level of the finisher piglets it will produce."
- Topigs Norsvin