Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1999


Published in 1999 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane E. Reese, Associate Professor and Extension Swine Specialist, Department of Animal Science. Prepared by the staff in Animal Science and cooperating Departments for use in Extension, Teaching and Research programs. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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Feeding and managing sows so changes in their body weight and condition fall within predetermined targets is critical for successful reproduction. General feeding recommendations are useful in designing a feeding strategy for sows in all pork producing operations. However, nutrient requirements are not the same for all sows and there are differences in how well producers implement feeding protocols. It is important sows be monitored systemically on farms to ensure their nutrient requirements are met. Body condition scoring seems to be the most practical and useful method of monitoring sows compared to backfat probing or weighing. Guidelines on how to condition score sows, as well as how to adjust feed intake to achieve a desired body condition score, are provided.