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Archive for July, 2014

The monthly Swine Budget created by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provides a guide and format to estimate the cost of production for a swine enterprise. See how you compare. The June Swine Budgets are now posted.

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A lot of producers stopped by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs booth at Pork Congress to share their ideas for enrichment toys. Some ideas  included pen of pigs playing with toyblocks of wood, rope, tough dog chews, straw, rubber balls and commercially manufactured toys.  Some producers hung these on chains while others let the pigs root them around in the pen.    All pigs have a need to chew and root. By providing enrichment toys this need is satisfied and tail and ear biting may be reduced.

The need to provide some form of enrichment toys is included in the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs.  What are your pigs playing with?

 

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The University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, have jointly developed a free app available from Google Play or Blackberry Marketplace that lets you calculate the level of heat stress experienced by livestock.

 

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The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2 million under Growing Forward 2 so that farmers and others who work with farm animals can receive training in animal care.

Farm and Food Care will develop training materials, deliver courses and help farmers implement new practices into their operations under the two-year program, which will be offered beginning this September. It will help those who work with farm animals keep up to date with the latest research, standards and practices related to farm animal care.

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OMAF/MRA, with help from Ontario Pork and the Prairie Swine Centre, are organizing group sow housing workshops for early September, at the Festival Inn in Stratford. The workshop will be repeated on two consecutive days, so you have the choice of either September 2nd or September 3rd, from about 9:30 to 4pm. Cost is $50, and includes workshop manual, lunch, and coffee breaks.

The purpose of the workshops is

“To build producers’ awareness and knowledge of the requirements and options for group sow housing. These will be based on the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs released this past March.”

Pig Code of Practice Cover The Workshops will feature three Ontario producers describing their experiences transitioning to group sow housing systems. Hear their challenges and opportunities and gain practical advice you can apply on your farm.

To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of group sow housing systems, Dr. Jennifer Brown and Dr. Yolande Seddon, both Prairie Swine Centre Group Sow Housing Researchers, will discuss the merits of different systems.

Dr. Kees de Lange, from the University of Guelph, will talk on feeding sows in group housing.

A key objective of the workshop is to stimulate discussion among the presenters and those attending. Everyone’s operation is different, so novel and creative approaches to managing a change in practices is essential for success.

You can register by calling the Clinton OMAF/MRA office at 519-482-3333 or by email to sandra.mccann@ontario.ca.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required by August 26th.  If you would like more information about the workshops, contact Doug Richards at 519-482-3133 or doug.richards@ontario.ca.

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