Swine Production in Batches
I should be very thankful if you would exlplain to me about how to carry out a swine production in batches for a smallholder farm (less than 20 sows). Please give an example. Thank you very much in advance.
It is difficult to group sows in a batch system with a small number of sows. Weaning is a good method to sycrinize the breeding date, more difficult with gilts. There are gilt and sow products available such as Matrix or PG 600. Even with proper sycrinization, the rebreeds will be 3 weeks late. Over the years there have been two ways that producers have dealt with this. One is start with a larger group of sows than you need and cull all that don't breed on the first cycle. The second is to extend the farrowing period by 3 weeks so each sow has 2 chances for pregnancy. A gilt pool could also work, but they need a separate pen from sows because of the agressive nature of sows. The schedule I recommend for small herds is to target two farrowing per year per sow. 52 weeks a year, so 26 week cycle, gestations is 17 weeks and a couple or 3 days. 5 week lactation, 3.5 week to breed (If a sow is thin, you can skip the first cycle and let her recover for 3 weeks before you breed her).
That schedule allows you to farrow on the same time of the year each year. So if labor is intense in spring and fall, you can farrow winter and summer. Jan 1 and July 1 or Feb 1 and August 1 or Mar 15 and Sept 15 etc.