Your herd's weaning average naturally helps determine your pigs per sow per year. Veterinarian Tom Fangman, University of Missouri has developed some critical-control-point considerations that can influence your weaning average.

He identifies the control points to achieve a weaning average of 8.5 to 9.9 pigs per litter as follows.

  • Born Alive (10 to 11.1 pigs), which is influenced by:
    A. Genetics.
    B. Farrowing interval.
    C. Sow parity
    D. Management farrowing (intervention).
    E. Health (parvovirus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, others).

  • Death Loss (11 percent to 15 percent).
    A. Crate design to prevent piglet crushing.
    B. Environmental controls.
    C. Lactation quality.
    D. Puerperal diseases.