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Mycotoxins are More Dangerous to Profits than Enteric Diseases

The cost of incurring and treating enteric diseases (E coli scours, PED, Porcine Enteropathy, Salmonellosis, Swine dysentery, Colitis, etc.) spread across the whole finishing herd seems to be in the region of $1.90/pig (€1.60, £1.00), raising production cost by about 2% finished pig.

The cost of incurring and treating enteric diseases (E coli scours, PED, Porcine Enteropathy, Salmonellosis, Swine dysentery , Colitis, etc.) spread across the whole finishing herd seems to be in the region of $1.90/pig (€1.60, £1.00), raising production cost by about 2% finished pig.
We are all familiar with these diseases and what to do about them in terms of veterinary help and drug treatment.
Not so with mycotoxins. Not so at all, it seems! For the past 5 years I`ve been collecting figures on what mycotoxicosis in all its variants has cost from clients farms and, where available, from descriptions I`ve seen in the press and elsewhere.
Examples:
  1. Mild mycotoxicosis in pigs 3 to 35 kg raised production cost by18%.
  2. Severe mycotoxicosis lasting 4 to 5 weeks raised the cost of the section of the herd of finishing pigs which were affected by 24%.
  3. Mycotoxicosis in gilts caused whole herd empty days to rise by 19 days- a production cost rise of €45/ sow /year (€2/ finished pig) or 2%.
  4. Mycotoxicosis in sows (anoestrus, returns-to-service, abortions, mummifieds, splay-legs and veterinary-diagnosed associated secondary infections) of varying severity caused production cost to rise between 30-74% varying from 6 weeks to 6 months.
Because of the inherent variability of these costs it is difficult to provide a ballpark figure on what a typical extra cost might be per finished pig from herds affected in this way, but it must be considerable year-on-year.
When one considers that the payback from a comprehensive annual protective protocol against mycotoxicoses, including extra labour costs, can provide a return of up to 7 to 1, it suggests that greater attention on how to combat the insidious effect of fungal-borne diseases is overdue.

2 comments

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    Marie Despars

    What will be your recommendation for an additive (anti-toxin) in the swine ration.

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    John Gadd

    To Marie Despars:
    If the season is wet, then a mycostat should be added to the harvested grain if not dried below 15% moisture, and if very wet to the finished food too..
    Trouble is, mycotoxin residues which can affect pig performance in a variety of ways need only be present in tiny amounts in the pig`s feed to cause trouble. So whether the season is wet or not an increasingly worthwhile precaution is to add a mycotoxin absorbent to the finished feed. There are a variety of these but to my mind the one with the greatest absorbent - and thus `neutralising` - power is Mycosorb from Alltech. Ask them to explain how this natural product works and you will be impressed.
    Some mycos will always get through, so an absorbent in the feed is a very good precaution to employ, and is becoming standard practice. So it should.

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