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Survival analysis of sow longevity and lifetime reproductive performance – Review
Published October 24, 2016
75-80

Sow longevity plays an important role in economically efficient piglet production. Improving sow longevity results increase in the productivity and profitability of a sow herd. Longevity is a complex trait with many factors that can contribute to a sow having a long and productive life. Not only the sow’s genetics, but also nutrition, environ...ment and the management policies are important. In addition, the removal of non-productive sows along with the introduction of replacement gilts is an essential part of maintaining herd productivity at a constantly high level. The objective of this paper was to summarize the current knowledge about the sow longevity and lifetime performance values, as well as, discusses the survival analysis methods for sow longevity traits. This method can estimate the hazard rate indicating proportional risk of sows being culled at any given time, in addition, it is able to investigate the effects of different factors on longevity. Identifying factors that influence the longevity could assist many commercial pig producers in becoming more efficient.

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Determining the optimal age of breeding gilts and its impact on lifetime performance, Literature review
Published May 23, 2019
15-20

Lifetime sow performance is a critical indicator for producers managing a commercial sow herd. It is comprised of sow longevity, lifetime piglets born alive, lifetime number of pigs weaned and lifetime non-productive sow days. Increased lifetime performance and longevity in sows reduces costs of replacement gilts and improves herd performance a...nd profitability (Sasaki et al., 2008, 2011). One of the most critical factors driving the performance of sow herds is gilt management. Decisions regarding gilts have profound effects on sows’ lifetime performance. Age at first breeding of a gilt is a management decision that has been shown to affect performance and retention of the gilt in a herd.

The main aim of this review is to establish factors affecting age of first breeding of gilts and its impact on lifetime performance.

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Economic impacts of applying EU animal protection regulations in hog breeding farms
Published May 27, 2001
76-80

Hungary’s intention to join the EU makes it necessary to adopt, introduce and use the EU system of law. In Hungary, the legal control of animal welfare has improved (XXVIIIth law in 1998); however, most of our pig farms do not meet the EU animal welfare law requirements for some reason. We examined 9 pig farms in Hajdú-Bihar, Borsod-Abaúj-Z...emplén and Heves counties. We chose those farms which use the combined breeding
technology most frequently used in Hungary. The most important part of the welfare directive is the definition of the minimum space per animal. We analysed the data in comparison with EU laws. On the basis of the analysis, it can be said that there is a narrow cross-section: the breeding of piglets. During the cost analysis, we analysed cost and highlighted the permanent cost. We studied how these costs would change if EU animal welfare laws were observed. We also examined the specific data per 1 sow and per 1 kilogram of slaughter pig. We compared the present data (1999) with those we get if EU animal welfare laws concerning minimal space per pig were now followed. It can be stated that after decreasing the sow live-stock in accordance with EU directives, the permanent cost would increase by 17,7% per sow. If the required space per sow were provided, the total cost per sow would increase by 1,9% from 421,1 thousand forints to 429 thousand forints, on average. This would mean a decrease of 7,9
thousand forints profit per sow. As with the decrease of the number of sows, the number of slaughter pigs also decreases. Total cost per 1 kg of slaughter pig would increase from 214,7 forints to 218,2 on average. 

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Sow removal patterns in commercial breed-wean herds of Midwest, USA
Published December 15, 2019
9-14

An observational retrospective study was done to provide up-to-date information on recent sow removal patterns from 9 breed-wean herds of Midwest USA. The study comprised of sow’s removal reasons and removal types of F1 Landrace x Yorkshire gilts entered in the herds between 1st Jan 2014 and 31st July 2016. Data was extr...acted from existing database on Dec 2018 and 15% of the sows were still active in the herds hence not included in the study. Descriptive statistics showed that out of the 20,009 removed sows, planned removals comprised of farrowing productivity (FP) 3,523 (17.6%) and old age (OA) 1,785 (8.9%) while unplanned removals consisted of reproductive failure (RF) 7,786 (38.9%), health problems (HP) 2,629 (13.1%), locomotion problems (LP) 1,473 (7.4%) and conformation issues (CI) 1,350 (6.8%).‘Did not conceive’ and “No heat” were observed as the main contributing factors accounting for 37.6% and 32.9% respectively for gilts & sows removed by RF.13.5% of the gilts (Parity 0) were removed from the herds before attaining their first litter of which 64.1% of their removals was due to RF. Removal type consisted of slaughter (S) 85.0%, found dead on the farm (DoF) 10.8% and euthanized (E) 4.2%. The research findings depict an upward trend of sow RF removals in the US swine herds posing a serious concern for US swine producers. Characterization and quantification of sow removals gives a revelation on the deeper intrigues about the vulnerability of the various parity in respect to common causes of RF. This helps swine producers to decisively improve on gilt replacement selection, reproductive efficiency, health and nutrition management all aimed at increasing overall swine productivity and efficiency in management. Swine farmers in the US can now focus their efforts towards curbing unnecessary RF removal within parity specifics.

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Effect of supplemental pig milk replacer on piglet weight gain and sow backfat thickness
Published March 24, 2015
43-47

Sow milk production is the major factor limiting pig growth to weaning. Although the milk production of the sows incremental many environmental factors affect the actual performances. The supplemental milk replacer can be an appropriate solution to ward off disparities and try to equalize the available milk quantity to the piglets according to ...their appetite, to enlarge the weight of pigs at weaning, ultimately. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of liquid milk supplement on weight development and litter performance of the piglets during the suckling period. Data were collected from 60 farrowings, the weight of 649 piglets in a total were measured at birth, 14 days old and at weaning (28 days), respectively. In the control group (n=319) the piglets were suckled and got prestarter feed from day 10. In the experimental group (n= 330) the piglets had got liquid milk replacer in 10.71% solution, from day 10 after birth together with suckling and prestarter feed, as well. Based on the Duncan's multiple range tests, there were no significant differences in birth weight between the control and experimental group but we found significant differences between the 14 days weight and the weaning weight, subsequently. Based on the CV% of weight the experimental group became more homogenous, in contrary to the weight of the control group at the end of suckling period. The milk supplementation can be an appropriate solution to ward off disparities and to equalize the available milk quantity to the piglets according to their appetite, to enlarge and uniform the weight of pigs at weaning, ultimately.

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Effect of different n-6/n-3 fatty acid proportion oil sources on reproduction performance and fatty acid profile of milk in modern genotype sows - Pleminary results: Preliminary results
Published May 20, 2020
121-128

This study was conducted to investigate the effects of supplemental n-6 and n-3 fatty acids on sow’s milk fatty acid composition during the lactation period and on reproductive efficiency of sows in the subsequent gestation period. Data were collected on a total of 213 DanBred sows (108 control and 105 experimental) representing parity of... 2–7, respectively. Control and experimental sows were placed in the same housing conditions during lactation and gestation period. Control group received 6.3 g of sunflower oil (SO) per kg feed as n-6 fatty acid supplementation, whilst experimental animals received the same amount of fish oil (FO) as n-3 fatty acid source. Diets were corn meal-extracted soybean meal based. The experiment was conducted in one replication as being a part of a longer and more comprehensive trial. It was found that the consumed long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) appeared in the sow’s milk and changed its fatty acid profile. With this alteration, the n-6/n-3 ratio of experimental (FO) sows’ milk were narrower than in SO group (SO: 13.82 vs. FO: 5.89). The benefits of n-3 fatty acids supplementation were evident for the subsequent reproduction cycle, when experimental sows heated more reliable and earlier than control (weaning to oestrus interval: SO: 5.86 vs. FO: 4.48 days). Only 2.33% of experimental sows (FO) did not heat within 7 days after weaning, but this was 12.36% in the control group (SO). The present study requires further research to evaluate the effect of n-3 fatty acids on maintenance of pregnancy and improved subsequent litter size.

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The effect of feeding different glycerol sources on the performance of lactating sows
Published December 28, 2018
99-103

Glycerol is a by-product of the biodiesel industry and it might be a good alternative to moderate the energy deficiency of sows during the lactation period. Preliminary experiments were carried out to test the effect of a powder, solid based “food grade” glycerol source with 72.9% glycerol content (Trial 1) and a liquid “feed grade” gly...cerol source with 86% glycerol content (Trial 2) on the performance of lactating sows and their litters. Trial 1 was conducted with 5 Hungarian Large White×Hungarian Landrace sows/treatment (313±24.9 kg) and Trial 2 with 12–12 DanAvl (323±17.0 kg) sows and their litters/treatment. Neither the solid, powder based glycerol (Trial 1), nor the liquid glycerol source (Trial 2) had significant effect on the feed intake, reduction in live weight and back-fat thickness, and weaning-tooestrus interval (p>0.05) of lactating sows. In Trial 2, on the 14th, 21st and 27th days of lactation the milk samples were collected and it was found that 50 kg/t glycerol decreased the protein content of milk samples (p<0.05). Glycerol supplementation had no effect on dry matter, fat, lactose content of milk samples (p>0.05). In Trial 2, no significant difference was found between control and experimental sow groups in triglyceride concentration of blood samples and in the activity of liver enzymes (ALT, AST, GGT; p>0.05), but the concentration of plasma glucose and cholesterol increased tendentiously (p<0.10).

Based on our preliminary results, it can be concluded that additional dose trials are needed to perform in order to study the effect of glycerol supplement on milk production and on metabolic processes of lactating sows.

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Effect of floor type and bedding system on sows lifespan
Published March 20, 2013
155-160

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The paper studies two nucleus pig farms in the Great Plain region of Hungary which have same management, same feeding system but different breeding technology (Farm A had solid floor with straw and Farm B had slatted floor without straw). The genetics of sows were crossbred Dutch Large White and Dutch Landrace. The comparative examination was based on the causes of culling according to the different floor type. To the analysis of culling reasons was applied the methods of survival analysis.

In the analysis there were used the Kaplan-Meier method and the Cox Proportional Hazard model to the estimate the difference between the farms. The results of survival analysis showed significant difference (p<0.05) between the lifespan of sows that caused the difference between the survival probabilities of sows culled due to lameness. Furthermore there was showed that the sows kept on solid floor with straw have stayed in production longer than on slatted floor without straw. The hazard ratio was 1.434 that means that the culling due to lameness is 1.434 times higher by the slatted floor without straw facing by solid floor with straw.

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Application of GIS, precision agriculture and unplugging cultivation in plant breeding of Karcag
Published December 15, 2019
49-56

In the last two decades, the prevailing ecological conditions and climate change have caused negative effects. Therefore, a paradigm shift is needed in the field growing of plants. The latest inventions, digital technologies, precision cultivation are not enough, the mentality of the farmers is more important. For this reason, not only big fina...ncial sacrifices, but adequate receptivity are needed on behalf of farmers. Adequate skills and continuous self-education are necessary. The yield of plant growing farms is determined by ecological conditions to a 40% extent, genetic background of the seed has a 30% share and the applied agricultural technology has a proportion of 30%. In different agroecological conditions, bred varieties of plants have bigger tolerance to unfavorable factors of the regions and significant yield stability. Farmers, who buy and sow seeds, can only contribute to the genetic potential of the seeds with cultivation technology. Plant breeding provides stable genetic background and good quality seeds. Breeding activity – choosing variety proposants, breeding them, selection work, classical breeding process for 8-10 years – must create new landraces, which can produce balance, high yield and have good quality parameters in extreme ecological conditions, yearly excursion and have higher tolerance to unfavorable factors of the region giving significant production stability for farmers. In Karcag GIS technology, precision cultivation elements and soil-friendly agrotechnical methods have been introduced which largely support the aims of breeding and can also provide optimal cultivation conditions in extreme years. Because of the specificity of breeding the main aim is not only to increase yield but to provide harmonic growing for bred materials, to decrease the number and the cost of cultivation and to be punctual. In this study, applied new methods and technologies are introduced.

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Challenges in the mangalitsa sector – present and future
Published March 20, 2013
147-153

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The Hungarian mangalitza pig sector has experienced numerous structural changes in the past few decades. The increased demand in the foreign markets for the mangalitza pork, changes in the domestic consumer perceptions have increase the number of sows and breeders. After the European Union’s accession started a significant growth in the sector, which was due to the target programme from the year of 2005 for the keeping of animals representing high genetic value, as the breed is indigenous. From 2008 continuous decline can be observed. The main reason for the decrease was the drastic growth of feed costs because of the drought damage in 2007, and the global economic crisis. Since 2010, a further period of supports has been in place, it extands the willingness to keep mangalitza pigs and the number of sows continuously increasing. On the basis of the average farm size (58 sows/farm) in 2011 it can be stated, that after our EU’s accession the medium-sized farms became stronger. To evaluate the geographic concentration of the mangalitza livestock it was analysed the data of sow number among the years of 2000 and 2011. The geographic concentration of mangalitza stock has a medium value over each year under the survey period, except the years of 2004–2007, when the values of Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) have low degrees. Due to the subvention period of indigenous breeds it was established more mangalitza farms in different parts of Hungary. Despite of the growth since 2000, numerous problems are in the segment. The aim of the study is to find out the sectoral problems, which are completed with the objectives tree and draw up the main activities to solve the problems. After estimating the SWOT-matrix according to the methodology of the strategic analysis and the discussions with the secretary of National Association of Mangalitza Breeders is prepared the sectoral problem- and objectives tree. The core problem of the mangalitza sector is that the origin of mangalitza products are not certified in the domestic markets. The reason of it is that the breeders don’t request the certificates of fattening pigs, so it can appear not real mangalitza product on the markets as mangalitza. To solve the problems it is drawn up different suggestions in the objectives tree. This analysis is an useful tool for the decision makers in the mangalitza sector to evolve strategic plans on behalf of the efficient cooperations among chain actors.

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Optimal age of breeding gilts and its impact on lifetime performance
Published December 15, 2019
15-20

Age at first breeding and lifetime reproductive performance was analyzed on 17,558 F1 Landrace x Yorkshire gilts from 9 piglet producing herds of Midwest, United States entered in herds between 1st Jan 2014 and 31st July 2016. At the time of data collection Dec 2018, 15% of the sows were still active in the herds hence exc...luded from the analysis. Individual gilt data included date of birth, age in days at first mating, piglet total born by parity, lifetime piglet total born and reason for culling. Quality data checks were done before analysis to eliminate all outlier values together with sows that had no entry information for any listed category. The total database of the sows was classified into 6 classes according to age at the first mating in days 170-190(n=754), 191-211(n=4683), 212-232(n=7123), 233-253(n=3385), 254-274(n=1002) and 275-369 (n=611). Piglet total born obtained from each sow during the lifetime production was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for gilts bred between 233-253 days of age at first mating. Gilts that were bred at <233 days appeared to have a higher risk of removal by farrowing productivity as compared to the other groups. However, the results show that the risk of being culled due to health problems and conformation issues increases as the age at first mating is delayed. Overall reproductive failure appears to be the most economical culling reason across all age groups. There is a need to evaluate the best management decisions for gilt initiation in a herd to maximize her lifetime performance. The results indicate that gilts mated for the first time at the right age, 233–253 days, are more productive, both in lifetime total born and have a minimal risk of culling due to farrowing productivity.

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The Effect of Grazing on the Production of Sows and Pasture Vegetation
Published May 4, 2004
43-47

In our experiment sows were grased during four grazing seasons, from April 28, 2000 to 23, August, 2001. The same number of indoor sows served as control animals.
The results of the blood test show that, as a result of grazing, the beta carotene level of the blood serum has increased threefold. This difference disappeard after the farrow 30 ...days.
On spring pasture, the grasingsows gained 50 kg in weight as opposed to 30 kg in the control animals. On the poor autumn pasture, the weight gained was only 30 kg, which was only 2 kg more in comparison with the performance of the control group. In the third grasing season the experiment sows weight gained was 13.7 kg and control group 37 kg. In the fourth season the control group weight gained was 4.4 kg more in comparison with the performance of the experiment sows.
Grazing not very influence weight of gthe sows during the preast – feeding.

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The effect of supplemental pig milk replacer on carbohydrate metabolism – a review
Published December 28, 2018
67-71

The aim of this review is to examine the effect of milk supplementation on pigs’ carbohydrate metabolism. These parameters regulate the growth of piglets, the nutrient intake and the period of pre-weaning. Due to the increased litter size, the sow milk yield reaches an individual maximum. The individual maximum has not increased proportionall...y with the number of piglets born alive. The use of liquid milk supplementation may give the opportunity to keep these large litters. The examined hormones are insulin, insulin-like growth factor, growth hormone, growth hormone releasing hormone, ghrelin and leptin. This review seeks to find these hormones’ interactions.

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