Sow Productivity on Commercial Pig Farms in the Republic of Macedonia

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The objectives of the present study were to determine the production performances of sows on commercial pig farms in the Republic of Macedonia, to compare the differences in sow productivity data between small and large farms and to examine interrelationships of key production parameters among farms with different sizes. The study was retrospectively based and included the annual (2012) analyses of the sow productivity data in small (<200 sows, n=4) and large (200-1000 sows, n=5) commercial pig farms. The data was statistically evaluated and compared with the known literature. Sows productivity was greater on the small farms compared to the large ones. The small farms had larger litter per sow (PBL), more pigs born alive (PBA), higher weaning weight (WW) and more pigs weaned per sow per litter (PWSL) than the large ones (p<0.001). Small farms also had greater farrowing rate (FR) (p<0.01). Higher replacement rate (RR), lower average parity (AP), greater number of litters per sow per year (LSY) and higher sow death rate (SDR) were observed in large farms (p<0.001). The large farms also had less non-productive days (NPD) than the small farms (p<0.001). Different intensity of correlations also were observed for several productive parameters among the farm groups. The data obtained in this study show that sow productivity on Macedonian pig farms is lower than in EU countries. Small herds are more efficient than the large herds. Despite all limitations, our study provides information for veterinarians regarding reproductive parameters of sows and their interrelationships on Macedonian pig farms. Further investigation should be made in order to identify whether specific management factors have effect on the productivity of the breeding herd.

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