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Proactive feeding strategies critical to outdoor sow success

 

Recent years have seen the popularity of housing sows outdoors increase to the point where it now accounts for nearly 40% of the national herd. But effectively managing sow nutrition, and in particular avoiding both under- and over-feeding, is critical to achieving good margins.

“Production levels are now only 5-10% behind those housed indoors (see figure 1), with some producers achieving an efficiency of production that’s close to that of an indoor unit,” explains ABN nutritionist Dr Steve Jagger. “The biggest challenge is the 15-20% extra feed needed to maintain sow body condition during poor weather, and it’s those with the most efficient, targeted feeding strategies who are able to keep that extra feed needed to a minimum.”

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