Breeding and Reproduction

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This page represents sources of importance with respect to efficient reproductive management for swine enterprises.

30 Pigs per Sow per Year (P/S/Y)

Achieving 30 pigs per sow per year is a reproductive efficiency target that has become achievable by many sow farms in the industry. This National Hog Farmer Blueprint issue on Sow Reproductive Efficiency provides information on the topic from national experts.

Individual articles are linked here:

Gilt development

Selecting, managing and developing replacement gilts is key to the success of any sow operation, regardless of size. How replacement gilts are managed from birth through their first lactation can have marked implications on productivity the remainder of their life.

Gilt selection is a critical component of improving the reproductive efficiency of a sow herd. Identification of gilts with reduced age at puberty is valuable as it is an indicator of sow lifetime productivity.  ISU data indicate that follicular activity, assessed by differences in the size of the gilt’s vulva, prior to puberty (95 and 115 days of age) may have some predictive value for age of puberty onset. These results are in the Iowa State University Animal Industry Report, Identification of Measures Predictive of Age at Puberty (AS 659)

Posters for gilt management and selection:

Sow Lifetime Productivity (SLP)

Sow Lifetime Productivity (SLP) refers to the number of quality pigs a sow weans over her lifetime.  A variety of management approaches from the neonatal stage through first lactation can contribute to SLP. This National Hog Farmer Blueprint issue on SLP highlights the importance of several different production stages.

See individual articles:

Troubleshooting reproduction problems

More swine reproduction resources


Questions? Contact an IPIC specialist

Jason RossJason Ross



Other ISU specialists


Russ Euken
Colin Johnson
Tom Miller
David Stender
Mark Storlie




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