Published on Feb. 6, 2018
Hypor Libra*: Greater Gains with Less Labor
The expression “time is money” is especially true for pork producers, because time and money are the two things that are always in short supply; or at least, they used to be. Thanks to the new Hypor Libra* (pronounced Libra Star) sow, which achieves excellence in piglet quality, mothering ability and sow longevity, producers can increase the number of pigs each employee manages and lower labor costs from farrow to wean.
With Quality Comes Quantity
Successful pork production is all about the numbers, and there’s one in particular that will turn your red ink to black, or vice versa: pigs per hour.
By improving mothering ability and longevity, Hypor geneticists reduced the time and labor spent managing gilts and in the farrowing room. The result was an increase in the number of piglets that producers can manage per hour from under 4 to an average of 5.
And what does one piglet more per hour mean to your business? Everything.
By increasing the number of piglets the producer can manage per hour, the Hypor Libra* lowers the labor cost per hour to raise each pig by $ 1.10 USD to $ 2.42 USD (€ 0.98 to € 2.25)
For a 1,200-head sow farm that is producing more than 36,000 piglets a year, the savings in labor costs are between $ 39,600 USD and $ 87,120 USD (€ 35,280 – € 81,000).
Of course, if that improvement in piglets per hour was easy to achieve, everyone would do it. It was a challenge, but Hypor geneticists did it by selecting sows that produce large and uniform litters. In the Hypor breeding program they measure the birth weights of individual pigs for multiple years to select the sows that produce the most uniform litters.
Research shows that uniformity is highly correlated with pig quality. Pigs from a uniform litter are more vital, have a higher survivability and are more likely to be rated at full value by the packer. By increasing litter uniformity, they reduced the amount of labor spent on cross-fostering and treating challenged piglets. Since quality pigs are better able to take care of themselves, it minimizes the amount of employee labor needed during the pig’s entire life.
And the benefits just keep on coming.
Litters that get a healthy start are more likely to maintain a healthy status and good growth rate throughout the growing period. When pigs grow at the same rate and reach market weight at the same time, they’re easier to manage as they don’t need extra time or labor to reach finishing weight.
At the end of the day, pigs who are easier to manage are easier on your bottom line. Next to feed and housing, labor is a producer’s biggest expense.
Strong Sow, Strong Offspring
In addition to collecting individual birth weights, Hypor geneticists also measure the 14-day weights of each piglet to ensure that the Hypor Libra* produces quality piglets and, most importantly, is able to raise them. The 14-day weights shows how well piglets are growing during the lactation period and allow geneticists to assess the milking ability of the sow. The Hypor Libra* is capable of producing more than 30 piglets a year that reach 14 pounds (6,3 kilograms) in three weeks with minimal cross fostering and without relying on milk replacer. Because the pigs get off to a good start, they are less likely to get sick later in life and ultimately require less labor.
Hypor geneticists carefully select the sows that continue to produce large litters of quality piglets past the first parity. The Hypor Libra* is capable of producing 2,50 litters of quality pigs each year for more than 6 parities.
A balanced approach
By balancing traits such as piglet quality, longevity and mothering ability, the Hypor Libra* is the total package: increasing production, lowering costs and ensuring Total System Profitability for Hypor clients.