Section 67
Chapter 66,315

Early detection of return to estrus sows in the gestating area due to activity measurements at the boar ticket window

Bohnenkamp, A.L.; Meyer, C.; Stamer, E.; Krieter, J.

Zuchtungskunde 88(2): 81-92


ISSN/ISBN: 0044-5401
Accession: 066314267

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The daily controlling of group-housed sows is more difficult in contrast to single-housed sows. Especially the early detection of return to estrus sows have to be optimized to reduce the production costs (e.g. labor, feed, insemination, space). The activity behavior of sows (N = 2.937 parities) at the boar ticketwindow were investigated from June 2011 to September 2014 on the Futterkamp agriculture research farm of the Chamber of Agriculture of Schleswig-Holstein. The group size differed between 180 to 200 sows. The return to estrus rate was 9% whereby 55% of these sows were inseminated again until day 35. The analysis of the duration and frequency of sows' visits per day resulted in enhanced activity between Day 18 to 24 for return to estrus sows. A fixed upper control limit (UCL) of the visit duration was determined (4.3 min/day) for the actual herd by the use of Shewhart charts. This UCL had the best results with a sensitivity of 73% and a specificity of 98%. Due to the results of the control charts one sow had to be checked for return to estrus every day. On average, eight sows produced a false alarm, while every ninth sow returned to estrus. The boar ticket window can be used as an aid to detect return to estrus sows. However, the control limits have to be adapted to the characteristics of the individual farms.

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