During an idea-sharing dinner session at Alltech’s international symposium a group led by Bill Close, an international swine consultant, and Dave Henman of QAF Meat Industries in Australia, discussed cause and effect of fertility decline in pigs, chickens, dairy cattle and beef cattle.
The group formulated nine ideas to try and reverse the general fertility decline.
1. Provide better stockmanship and perhaps more people per animal, with those people better trained and equipped.
2. Provide better nutrition, and better matched to current animal size and productivity levels.
3. Improve genetic selection for overall fertility, in some cases including longevity and more libido.
4. Make better selections for structural soundness and balance.
5. Improve education about and application of new knowledge about nutrition, management and other reproduction-related products.
6. Pay more attention to details, including husbandry, feeding, supplementation.
7. Combine new technology with improved management instead of trying to substitute one for the other.
8. Educate producers about the true economics of poor reproduction so they will put more effort into that area.
9. Watch for and manage toxins, especially in light of increased concentration of such problems through higher use of distiller’s grains and other byproducts.