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Sow statistics show benefits of the optimal management

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In Switzerland, the switch to free-running stall cages has been mandatory for new buildings since 1997. In 2007, all sow farms had to be switched. Swiss sow farmers achieve an average dropout rate of 11 percent. Piglet losses have been falling for years since the obligation to switch to free-range farrowing pens in 2007.

Switzerland has 631 sow farms. On average, the number of live-born piglets is 13 piglets per sow, the dropout rate is 11 percent and the number of weaned piglets per sow per year is 26.9 percent. This is shown by figures from Suisag, reports the German trade magazine SUS.

The top 10% of companies are up there. The number of piglets born alive is 14.1 and the dropout rate is 9.1 percent. This results in a production of 2.41 litters per year to 30.8 weaned piglets per sow per year.

The number of live-born piglets has no relation to the dropout, according to the figures of the 10 percent least performing farms. There, the sows produce 12.3 piglets, but the dropout rate is 12.5 percent. As a result, these farms do not exceed 24 weaned piglets per sow per year.

Optimal management

In order to achieve good results, according to the Swiss, optimal management and proper arrangement of the birdhouse are important factors. Due to the animal welfare requirements, Swiss free-range birdhouses are still the most similar to the birdhouses in the organic sector. Use of litter is also mandatory in Switzerland.

For a low dropout, it is also necessary to select both the sows and the piglets for a low dropout. Most sows use Suisag genetics.

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