2015 Volume 52 Issue 4 Pages 153-160
The objectives of the present study were to characterize farrowing space (FS) utilization efficiency on commercial farms and to examine the relationships between FS utilization efficiency measurements and those possible factors. A questionnaire survey was undertaken to obtain information on FS utilization from 115 breeding farms. The FS data of the 94 farms (81.7%) that returned the questionnaires were coordinated with the respective reproductive performance data. The 94 farms were categorized into two groups on the basis of the upper 25th percentile of number of pigs weaned per FS per year: high-performing farms and ordinary farms based on the FS utilization efficiency. In addition to herd reproductive performance data, a set of time-series data in 13 four-week periods during a year was created for each farm to obtain mean and its coefficient of variation (CV, %) as a measurement of within-farm variability for number of females served per 4-week. Correlation analysis and regression analysis were applied to the data. Means (±SEM) of pigs weaned per FS per year, litters farrowed per FS per year and the CV of the total number of females served per 4-week in a year were 97.33±2.70 pigs, 9.86±1.28 litters and 12.82±0.79%, respectively. High-performing farms had 42.91 more pigs weaned per FS per year, 3.89 more litters farrowed per FS per year and 4.83% lower CV for the number of females served than ordinary farms (P<0.05). In modelling, a higher number of pigs weaned per FS per year was associated with annual farrowing rate and a lower CV% for the number of females served 16 weeks previously (P<0.01). In conclusion, a higher FS utilization efficiency appeared to be related to mating management on female pigs.