What makes the swine industry so special? I believe it is the many people that work in it: family members, managers, and all the barn employees. Being a swine caregiver, or a swine technician, can be a rewarding occupation.
A new quality assurance program was released in March 2017. This year, the National Pork Board transitioned to Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) and will no longer be administering Youth Pork Quality Assurance Plus (YPQA) by the end of 2017.
When sorting out the causes of respiratory signs in pig groups, veterinarians and animal caretakers can often differentiate between illness caused by Influenza A Virus (IAV) and that resulting from Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome Virus (PRRSV). Clinical signs, incidence rates, and rapidity of onset can be clues to the causes.
It is up to each U.S. producer to determine their own personal investment in a hospital pen, however, producers in other countries may have a required minimum area for these pens mandated. Both sow welfare and caregiver efficiency can be improved by giving careful thought to hospital pen characteristics within group housed sow pens.
Microbiology may not be what comes to mind initially when you think about swine production practices, but recent research may hold the key to making changes based on the veterinary feed directive regulations (effective January 1, 2017). Bacterial populations located all along the gastrointestinal tract of animals, collectively referred to as the microbiome, play an integrative, symbiotic role with their swine hosts. Researchers have uncovered some clear data that demonstrates beneficial effects on several factors of swine production, including increased feed:gain ratio, growth performance, and decreased pathogen load. The production effects are primarily attributed to reducing post-weaning stress and altering the microbiome with non-traditional feed additives.
Let’s take a moment to consider one of the animal observations from the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) Site Assessment and its impacts. Recommendations exist in facility planning books about the square footage for an animal at each phase of production. However, these recommendations are simply a starting point at achieving animal comfort and maximizing the efficiency of your building. The challenge we sometimes forget is that recommendations are formed based on some assumptions and certain sizes of animals.
A biofilter is an air filtration system that uses a layer of microbes on a support media to filter gases from the air exiting a livestock facility. The support media can be a wide variety of material but is most often woodchips. This article outlines the design considerations and cost to construct a slanted bed biofilter for a pit fan on the new South Dakota State University Swine Education and Research Facility wean-finish unit.
A biofilter is an air filtration system that uses a layer of microbes on a support media to filter gases from the air exiting a livestock facility. The support media can be a wide variety of material but is most often woodchips. This article outlines the design considerations, experiences and cost to construct a horizontal bed biofilter for a pit fan on the new South Dakota State University Swine Education and Research Facility gestation room.
Based on a recent report by Dr. Emmanuel Byamukama, Differentiating Between Wheat Head Diseases and Disorders, it appears that conditions are right for Fusarium head blight (or scab) growth in South Dakota, which leads to the production of the mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat. While DON-contaminated grains can cause problems for livestock, pork producers have several options when dealing with this situation.
Sow numbers in S.D. are at 190,000 sows, which puts S.D. in the top 10 in sow numbers in the United States. Also, S.D. ranks #11 in market hogs. As new sow units and finishing barns get approved and built, these numbers will increase in the future. Not only will these new barns provide needed jobs to rural communities and an avenue for young people to return to the family farm, they will also create an increased demand for locally raised corn and soybeans.