Florida Agricultural Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
The Importance of
Seventy-five per cent of all production costs is re-
presented by feed. The remaining 25%o of produc-
tion cost is largely determined by management
The most important single factor determining
profit is litter size.
ESTIMATED COST OF PIGS AS INFLUENCED
BY LITTER SIZE
2Cost Per Pig 3Cost Per Pig
NO. Pigs Per Farrowed When Weaned When
Litter Sow's Feed Cost: Sow's Feed Cost:
.04/lb. .03/lb. .04/lb. .03/lb.
2 $18.75 $15.60 $30.13 $24.79
4 9.38 7.80 16.44 13.77
6 6.25 5.20 11.88 10.10
8 4.69 3.90 9.60 8.26
10 3.75 3.12 8.23 7.16
12 3.13 2.60 7.31 6.42
1.-Sow feed figured as constant regardless of litter size.
2.-Includes feed, equipment, veterinary cost, boar charge and overhead.
3.-Includes all of (1 and 2) plus creep feed, equipment charge, veterin-
ary charge, and other overhead charges for suckling pigs. Esti-
mated at $2.75 per pig from farrowing to weaning.
ESTIMATED COST OF PIGS AS INFLUENCED
BY LITTER SIZE
Cost Per Litter
NO. Pigs Per Weaned When
Litter Sow's Feed Cost:
2 $60.26 $49.58
4 65.76 55.08
6 71.28 60.60
8 76.80 66.08
10 82.30 71.60
12 87.72 77.04
HOW TO PROFITABLY INCREASE
K. L. Durrance and A. C. Warnick1
A. Select gilts on following points:
Sound underline 14 or more prominent
From lines and families with high fer-
tility (large litter size) and early sexual
Heavy muscling and rapid rate of gain,
with good feed efficiency.
Structurally correct, with sound feet and
legs and quality bone.
Select at approximately 4 months or 150
to 200 pounds.
Healthy individuals and from healthy
Utilize littermate records from Swine
B. Management of replacement gilts
Feed 3- 6 lb. growing ration (16% pro-
tein content) for adequate gains.
Provide lush pasture where possible.
a. Winter oats, rye and clover
b. Summer Pearlmillet and grasses
Check feet and trim if needed.
C. Herd Health
a. Hog cholera (pigs at 6 to 9 weeks and
b. Leptospirosis (at least 2 weeks before
c. Erysilpelas (pigs at 8 to 12 weeks and
sows 2 weeks before each breeding
Testing. Blood test all gilts and sows
annually at least three weeks before
breeding for Brucellosis and Leptospirosis.
Isolate all purchased breeding stock for
at least 30 days before adding to herd.
1Associate animal husbandman, Agricultural Extension Service and
animal physiologist, Agricultural Experiment Stations.
Treat for internal and external parasites
D. Management before and during breeding
Breed gilts at approximately 6 to 8
months of age (preferably at third heat
Flush gilts by feeding 6- 8 lbs. daily for
14 days before breeding begins.
Continue increased feed intake approxi-
mately 3 weeks after breeding.
Double mate by breeding to Boar A at
beginning of heat, and 24 hours later to
Boar B in commercial herd and to same
boar in purebred herd.
Record breeding dates in permanent
record and farrowing dates in pocket
During hot weather provide access to
cooling devices (natural shade or mist
devices) from time of breeding to far-
E. Late gestation and farrowing
Increase feed level (to approximately 6
lbs.) during last 3 to 4 weeks before far-
Ten to 14 days before farrowing, worm
sows with Piperazine or Atgard.
Bring sows to holding area 4- 5 days be-
a. Wash down with hose
b. Treat for external parasites
Three days before farrowing, wash and
scrub thoroughly (especially underline),
apply disinfectant and place in clean far-
Have necessary equipment and supplies
available at farrowing time. (See Circular
Florida Agricultural Extension No. 166)
Be present at farrowing time and give
F. Boar Management
Test boars for Brucellosis and Leptospi-
rosis 30 to 60 days before breeding begins.
a. Nonbreeding season mature boars,
feed 3 4 lbs. daily of balanced ration
b. Breeding season flush ten days
prior to breeding with 5- 8 lbs. feed
and continue this level during heavy
c. Young boars feed approximately
6 lbs. feed daily or according to con-
dition and development.
d. When hand mating, feed after boar
services the sow.
a. Cut tusks of mature boars at least
two weeks before breeding.
b. Check feet and trim toes if necessary
3 to 4 weeks before breeding season.
c. Mature boars one week prior, breed
to market gilt.
d. Young boars 2 to 3 weeks before
breeding season, breed to a few market
Frequency of service:
Maximum services per boar
Age Per Day Per Week Per Month
7-12 months 2 8 25
12 months and
older 3 12 40
*Systems of mating
a. Hand mating:
1. Place female in lot with boar
during cool part of day (early
morning or late evening)
2. Constant mist sprays during
summer months are helpful.
b. Pasture mating (boar and fe-
1. Have shady areas and mist
sprays during summer.
2. Rotate boars: one boar or
group during day and another
during night, allowing rest
period during 12 hours of
G. Breeding and Farrowing Dates
Date bred 114 days Date bred 114 days
(date due) (date due)
Lose $ by:
$ Overfeed sows, gilts and boars
$ Feed unbalanced rations
$ Overwork boar.
$ Use contaminated lots.
$ Disregard disease and parasite control.
$ Subject sows and gilts to extreme high temperatures
$ Run sows and gilts together.
$ Keep inadequate records.
$ Fail to isolate newly purchased animals
$ Fail to vaccinate for Hog Cholera, Leptospirosis and
Ways to make $:
$ Select gilts from lines with large litter size records.
$ Practice a sound cross-breeding program.
$ Grow gilts out so they are in medium flesh and
$ Flush gilts two weeks before breeding.
$ Breed gilts at third heat period.
$ Use double mating breeding system.
$ Decrease energy intake following breeding.
$ Increase feed level the last third of gestation period.
$ Keep breeding animals cool and comfortable during
breeding and gestation periods.
$ Be present at farrowing time.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. 0. Watkins, Director
The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University