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Husbandry practices, sow herd performance and distribution of work load in swine farming systems : a modelling approach

Gilles Martel 
Abstract : The objective of this thesis was to build a sow herd dynamic model which allows exploring the effect of combinations of practices, according to farmer preferences, on the productivity and the temporal distribution of periodic tasks. To achieve this goal a first model was developed using the data available in the literature. This model made it possible to represent the operation of a sow herd whatever the number of batches and the duration of lactation, the two major elements affecting the between-week work load distribution. It produces results on sows productivity and the temporal distribution of periodic tasks, and thus makes it possible to compare various batch managements on these criteria. We submitted the model and its results to the opinion of experts in swine production. Those proposed to improve i) the representation of farmer's preferences and their links with the practices; ii) the representation of sows' lifetime performances and their effects on their productivity. Following these proposals we carried out an on-farm investigation and we performed an analysis of the data base from the Technical Sow Herd Management System. The investigations made it possible to identify two types of farmer's preferences: i) towards the weekly distribution of work load which was found to be related to the insemination practices; ii) towards sow productivity which was related to the farrowing practices. We also identified a relationship between the number of batches and replacement and culling practices. The analysis of the data base provided the information required to represent the effects of sow's lifetime performances on its productivity, but it also provided technical references for each batch management, which was not available until now. These results enabled us to produce a conceptual model based on the first model with i) a representation of farmers preferences connected to combinations of practices, ii) a greater diversity in the practices and iii) an effect of the practices and sows' lifetime performances on their productivity.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 1, 2008 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 4:38:10 PM
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  • HAL Id : pastel-00003677, version 1



Gilles Martel. Husbandry practices, sow herd performance and distribution of work load in swine farming systems : a modelling approach. Life Sciences [q-bio]. AgroParisTech, 2008. English. ⟨NNT : 2008AGPT0019⟩. ⟨pastel-00003677⟩



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