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Posts Tagged ‘pigs’

In setting new attendance records on April 5th and 6th LSC continues to grow, partly by increasing attendance by owners, managers, and staff from the production sector, and impressive industry sponsorship and support.

LSClogo

The program balances a mix of research and technical presentations with more practical topics and workshops where the research and technical topics are discussed as they apply at farm level.

This is done by including producers in the planning process.  For the past number of years the Conference Chair has been a pork producer, and the planning process includes a number of producers, farm managers, and many others with a background in the production side of the industry.  This helps keep in focus the fact that while the research, technical, and ‘higher level’ topics are important to the industry as a whole it all needs, at some point, to be in support of Ontario pork production.  We also include pork producers and production managers on the speaking program, particularly in the breakout sessions, so that others can learn from their practical experiences in doing the job every day.

The written papers and summaries of the presentations provide a resource for the industry, going back to the first conference in 2001, and are freely available online at the conference website: www.londonswineconference.ca.  There is also a link under ‘Highlights 2016’  to a video of a workshop by Elaine Froese on “Managing Generational Expectations”.

Put these dates for 2017 in your calendar: Wednesday March 29th and Thursday March 30th.  If you want to be part of planning the next conference, the technical planning meeting is coming up:

London Swine Conference 2017 Technical Planning Meeting

June 16th, Woodstock OMAFRA Resource Centre 9am-Noon.

Unit 1 – 401 Lakeview Drive
Woodstock, ON N4T 1W2
Phone: (519) 537-6621

Bring your ideas for our next conference, or send them to me if you can’t attend at jaydee.smith@ontario.ca.

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The Swine Expert Network of the OAHN has issued a quarterly report:

OAHN logoOntario Animal Health Network Swine Q4 2015 Producer Report

Highlights

  • OAHN Swine Network Project to investigate weaned pig morbidity and mortality rates, the major causes of morbidity and mortality and to assess therapeutic interventions. Currently enrolling nurseries…
  • Influenza A virus detection is on the rise. News you need to know about this virus
  • *NEW OAHN Swine Network Podcast Series on Influenza A virus. Part I now available: www.oahn.podbean.com 
  • OVC Swine Research Findings on resistance genes & post-weaning anemia with regards to zinc oxide in feed rations
  • Information on how you can stay up to date with OAHN…

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From a Prairie Swine Centre release:

GroupSowHousing.com Launched

Saskatoon, SK, January 13, 2016.  Providing pork producers with the latest information on different types of group sow housing systems, a new website groupsowhousing.com has been launched with the goal of assisting the swine industry in the transition from stalls to groups.  With recent changes to Canada’s Pig Code of Practice all barns newly built or renovated to house gestating sows must utilize group housing, and all producers are encouraged to move to group housing by 2024.  According to Dr. Jennifer Brown the transition to group sow housing needs to be well thought out in advance in order to minimize costs, maintain production and ensure the best possible system is in place for the sows.  “It’s not a one size fits all approach, the website is intended to provide information and increase knowledge and confidence in the swine industry as people look towards making the change to group sow housing and away from stalls.”

Groupsowhousing.com sets out to compile the best science on how to manage sows in groups.  In addition it provides real world examples of producers who have successfully made the transition to group sow housing.  This includes documenting their rationale for the transition to groups, management of the new system, design and construction of group housing, and the costs involved.  According to Dr. Jennifer Brown “the producer experience is a key component of the website, as it gives other producers a clear idea of what’s involved in the transition.”

Producers looking for more information on transitioning to group sow housing will find resources dedicated to different feeding systems (competitive and non-competitive), grouping strategies, and training and management of gilts and sows under group systems.

GroupSowHousing.com is part of the National Sow Housing Conversion Project, funded in part through Swine Innovation Porc, much of the information being available in both official languages.  This project is funded by Swine Innovation Porc within the Swine Cluster 2: Driving Results Through Innovation research program. Funding is provided by Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada through the AgriInnovation Program, provincial producer organizations and industry partners.

Prairie Swine Centre Inc., located near Saskatoon, is a non-profit research corporation affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan, and is recognized globally for its contributions to practical, applied science in pork production in the disciplines of nutrition, engineering and applied animal behaviour.

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For more information, contact:

Dr. Jennifer Brown,

Research Scientist, Ethology

Prairie Swine Centre Inc 

Phone:  306-667-7442

Fax: 306-955-2510

E-mail: jennifer.brown@usask.ca

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Centralia 2015lSpeaking at the 34th Centralia Swine Research Update on Wednesday, Dr. Lisa Becton, Director of Swine Health and Information with the US National Pork Board highlighted their efforts to be better prepared when the next health threat emerges. Lessons learned from their experiences with PED helped determine their strategy.

The US was not well prepared for PED. In 2014 the NPPC produced a resolution for a plan of coordination and preparedness for the US Swine Industry in the event of the identification/introduction of any new economically significant but non-reportable swine disease. It’s now recognized that industry needs to take enhanced responsibility for non-regulatory diseases. The US Pork Board is playing a key role in improving the industry’s readiness for emerging diseases.

She described an approach to improving preparedness in three main areas:  a Response Plan including a coordinated state-federal-industry response; a Swine Matrix Project to identify potentially important diseases globally and have information about them in hand or knowledge gaps identified, and to improve diagnostics and surveillance systems; and improved swine information sharing, including the creation of a new Swine Health and Information Center.

Dr. Becton concluded by emphasizing that:

  • PEDV probably will not be the last emerging disease the industry faces; therefore, an emerging disease plan is essential
  • As part of that plan, monitoring of global disease issues is critical and includes pre-emptive plan for key needs for disease diagnosis and management
  • Cooperation and collaboration between all sectors of industry and government is a must

The Proceedings of the Centralia Swine Research Update are now available online. It includes summaries of all presentations on pain control, nutrition, health, and many written updates on a wide range of topics.

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Shakespeare Swine Seminar

This year’s Shakespeare Swine Seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at the Shakespeare Community Centre.  The one day seminar is an education event for hog producers and allied industry personnel that features local and international speakers on topics of importance to the swine industry.

Dr. Darwin Reicks from the Swine Veterinary Center in St. Peter, Minnesota will discuss optimizing litter size when using artificial insemination. Dr. Mark Rix from Swine Management Systems in Fremont, Nebraska will compare production in sows gestated in loose housing and in stalls. Dr. Tim McAllister from Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta will address antibiotic use in food animal production.

Additional topics to be covered include eradicating PED from farrowing sites, increasing piglet survival rates, identifying semen quality issues, and more.

Pre-registration is required and can be completed by either calling 877- 424 -1300 or emailing ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

The Shakespeare Seminar is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Rural Affairs and Ontario Pork.

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We may not be quite experiencing a heat wave yet, but there is sure to be hot weather coming. Anyone caring for livestock needs to be prepared for high temperatures.

OMAFRA has produced a free Heat Stress in Livestock and Poultry app for smartphones that can help determine when livestock are at risk of heat stress on the spot, either in the barn or at time of transport.

By entering the current temperature and relative humidity on your smartphone you can estimate heat stress risks quickly and easily. The app also suggests steps to take to reduce heat stress to maintain feed intake and productivity.

appCheck it out here.

The app is useful in assessing a whether a crisis is imminent, but routine maintenance can help avoid risk too. This would be a good time to clean fans, check that louvers and inlets are moving freely, and clean up the sensors and controllers. Ventilation systems need to be working at maximum efficiency and need to be tuned properly to maintain temperature and humidity at acceptable levels. A ventilation system failure can be catastrophic. Even alarm systems can fail so constant vigilance is required when things get hot.

When it it does get really hot outside, ventilation alone can’t provide adequate cooling. When pigs are too hot, they don’t eat. Pigs that don’t eat don’t grow. This is most apparent in heavier pigs nearing market, when the upper preferred temperature of the pig is only around 21C.

There are a few things that can be done to help keep pigs from overheating. Pigs need to lose heat either by contact with a cold surface, or through evaporation of water from their body surface. Since they don’t sweat, that moisture must come from somewhere else. Water sprinklers or drip systems are effective ways of providing relief from heat stress. 1-2 minutes of sprinkling every 20-30 minutes is all that is needed. Time it so that the water is nearly all evaporated before reaching the floor, and so that the ventilation system has time to clear the humidity before the next application.

Adequate drinking water is absolutely critical. Make sure there are enough drinkers for your animals. Go get wet and cool off yourself by thoroughly inspecting every drinker in your barn.

If you can’t make use of the Heat Stress app, this table can be used instead. The intersection of current temperature and humidity indicates the level of stress pigs may be facing, and the level of response that needs to be taken to reduce it (see below for some more options).

 

Signs of heat stress
• Evident discomfort/distress, pigs lying apart, body stretched out
• Manure patterns change, pen floors become wet/dirty, pigs all dirty
• Increased water consumption (up to 6x normal)
• Noticeable decrease in pen activity, slowness and lethargy
• Muscle trembling
• Rapid fall in feed consumption/reduced weight gains, pigs seem to stall out
• Very high respiration rate (panting)

Pigs will try to increase heat dissipation and decrease body heat production. Producers can aid this by making sure that:

• Pigs have unrestricted access to a good supply of clean water
• Timed water sprinkler/mister system triggered by room temperature
• Proper ventilation for the size of room/weight of pig/time of year
• Enough pen space for size of pigs, do not overcrowd (all the pigs can lie down without touching each other and still access feeders/waterers/dunging area without stepping on pen mates)
• Diets can be reformulated in the summer to be more nutrient dense, while ensuring
nutrient needs (amount/day) are still being met.

Transport during any season is also an area the can cause heat stress in pigs and may result in death loss. When possible try to:
• Load animals in groups less than five
• Adjust transport to early morning or at night (summer)
• Load fewer pigs per load on hot, humid days
• Provide wet shavings when temperature is over 15C, do not use straw
• When temperature is over 27C, sprinkle pigs with a course spray of water prior to loading
• Do not pour large amounts over cold water over on an overheated pig as the shock may kill it
• Load and unload promptly to avoid heat buildup
• Death loss due to heat stress is most often attributed to power outages in hog barns when there is no alternate power source or power loss back-up plan. Test your alternate power generation and power outage alarms monthly for fan operated barns
(static pressure barns). Check panic doors/drop curtain releases for natural ventilated barns. Heat build-up non-ventilated barns can cause fatalities in all seasons.

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Visit the OMAF/MRA exhibit at the OPC for information about environmental enrichment for pigs, the Ontario Grading Data Explorer computer program, hog marketing, and more.

ENRICHMENT

What are enrichment toys?
Materials and objects suitable for chewing and rooting are often called enrichment toys.
Why do pigs need enrichment toys?
All pigs have a need to chew and root. By providing en-richment toys this need is satisfied and tail and ear biting may be reduced.
How many toys do I need?
Too few toys will result in competition. Have enough toys in different locations so that as many pigs as possible can easily use them at the same time.
Can I make them myself?
Yes, you can make your own enrichment toys. Pick up our flyer with links to websites that provide instructions and information on enrichment toys.

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ONTARIO GRADING DATA EXPLORER

Easy access to online grading data to help in decision making and in hitting production targets to improve revenue. 

Ask to arrange for a demonstration, or pick up a brochure for more information.

HOG MARKETING

Take on the Hog Marketing Challenge. It is meant to be a learning experience on paper with no money or pigs involved but using real time market information. Put your market knowledge and expertise to work and learn how some marketing tools function.

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