Date Full Report Received


Date Abstract Report Received



Primary Investigator:


Bioeconomic evaluation of sow longevity and profitability
J. Anim. Sci. 2003 Dec; 81(12):2915-22.

Impact of biological and economic variables on optimal perity for replacement in swine breed-to-wean herds
J. Anim. Sci. 2006 Sep; 84(9):2555-65

Early removal of sows from the herd due to mortality, health problems and low production is a major bottleneck in the swine industry that amounts to animal welfare and economic concerns due to replacement and veterinary treatment costs. The identification of the optimal average age for sow replacement is challenging due to the many biological and economic factors influencing net revenue. This study identified the factors influencing sow longevity, compared the impact of factors in economic terms, identified the optimal age at replacement for a wide range of production and economic scenarios and quantified the profits from effective removal at the optimal parity. Important differences in genetic lines were observed that could be translated in economic benefits provided that sows remained in the herd for sufficient period to recover the initial investment costs. The benefit of sow longevity was reduced when considering the discount rate used to compute the net present value.

The sow replacement cost and salvage value were the most important considerations in determining the optimal parity to replace sows while simultaneously considering involuntary culling. For most scenarios, producers tend to cull sows before sows become profitable. A reduction of the voluntary culling at early parities will give the producers more options to maximize profitability. The resulting bio-economical characterization of sow longevity can be used to identify bottlenecks and improve the productivity and economic efficiency of sow breeding herds.