Managing the litter from hyperprolific sows

E.M. Baxter*, O. Schmitt, L.J. Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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The practice of breeding from hyperprolific sows producing very large litters is becoming a normal occurrence in commercial pig production. However, the relationship between large litter size and piglet mortality is well established. In order to minimise the health and welfare challenges associated with large litters and maximise the economic potential of increased numbers born, various genetic, nutritional and management interventions are required. This chapter outlines the different challenges associated with hyperprolificacy before focusing on management strategies adopted over the farrowing and lactation period to tackle those challenges. These include early interventions to assist vulnerable piglets, such as those suffering from intrauterine growth retardation, as well as strategies involving whole litter interventions (e.g. use of nurse sows, artificial rearing) to help rear supernumerary piglets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe suckling and weaned piglet
EditorsChantal Farmer
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-894-0
Publication statusFirst published - 14 Sept 2020


  • nurse sows
  • artificial rearing
  • Colostrum and energy supplementation
  • IUGR


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