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Piglet health, feed flavours and SIV in Pig Progress 7

In this edition of Pig Progress, we look at calcium’s role in a sow’s blood in the farrowing process and how it affects the health of her litter. Trials investigate if raspberry-flavoured feed encourages exploratory behaviour in piglets and promotes feed intake. We also consider Europe’s pig populations as an emerging reservoir of influenza A viruses.

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Plenty of reasons to be positive about Japan

Pork is becoming more popular in Japan, an important pork-importing island with limited land. Yet pig production in the country is highly profitable and sustainable.

Influenza in European pig herds

A recent study supports the theory that European domestic pig populations appear to be an emerging reservoir of potentially zoonotic influenza A viruses. In this article, we detail what this means, and what influence this has on vaccination programmes.

A nose swab is being taken from a piglet. In the study, up to 50% of holdings with respiratory problems housed pigs with swine influenza virus infections. Photo: Dr Alex Ramirez
A nose swab is being taken from a piglet. In the study, up to 50% of holdings with respiratory problems housed pigs with swine influenza virus infections. Photo: Dr Alex Ramirez

Finnish pigs receiving feed from the farm

In this article, we highlight Finland’s Rapeseed Pork programme, which was awarded by the EU PiG Innovation Group. Winning in the category “Precision production”, Rypsiporsas pigs are raised free of antibiotics and are fed homemade feed.

EU PiG ambassador, Finnish farmer Matti Ropilo. Photo: HKScan
EU PiG ambassador, Finnish farmer Matti Ropilo. Photo: HKScan

Two more years for IPVS president, Dr Fernanda Almeida

In this article, Pig Progress interviews IPVS president, Dr Fernanda Almeida, who remains in charge to plan the IPVS Congress in June 2022.

Dr Almeida is currently the IPVS president and associate professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She did her PhD working on the physiology of reproduction in sows and teaches both graduate and undergraduate students. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
Dr Almeida is currently the IPVS president and associate professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She did her PhD working on the physiology of reproduction in sows and teaches both graduate and undergraduate students. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

Outdoor UK farm faces both Brexit and Covid-19

We travel to the north Norfolk area of the UK to visit the high welfare outdoor breeding and finishing producer, North Farm Livestock, and discuss how the Pig Farmer(s) of the Year are managing amid uncertainties around both Brexit and Covid-19.

Michael and Ian Baker are the owners of North Farm Livestock, which produces about 2,500 pigs per week. Photo: Tim Scrivener
Michael and Ian Baker are the owners of North Farm Livestock, which produces about 2,500 pigs per week. Photo: Tim Scrivener

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How dietary fibre can tackle heat stress in sows

With respect to reduced feed intake and impaired nutrient absorption by heat-stressed sows, the strategy of including considerable amounts of fibre will be highly beneficial. This strategy focuses on gut integrity and health and optimises the nutrient absorption as a corollary effect.

A close-up image of a lignocellulose product. Photo: Agromed
A close-up image of a lignocellulose product. Photo: Agromed

Maintaining calcium levels in sow blood

It appears that calcium levels in a sow’s blood are likely to play a role in the farrowing process. This has inspired the development of a new drinking water additive.

A drinking water additive given from 5 days before farrowing supports the sow in maintaining her calcium levels and improves oxygenation of her piglets, ultimately reducing stillbirths. Photo: Trouw Nutrition
A drinking water additive given from 5 days before farrowing supports the sow in maintaining her calcium levels and improves oxygenation of her piglets, ultimately reducing stillbirths. Photo: Trouw Nutrition

Raspberry flavour invites piglets to explore and eat

Piglets are curious, sensitive to smell and love sweet flavours. A raspberry flavour may be a good incentive to encourage exploratory behaviour in piglets and encourage further feed intake. Trials in China set to find out.

Raspberry-flavoured feed was the preferred feed flavour for the piglets. Photo: Jon Sailer/Pancosma
Raspberry-flavoured feed was the preferred feed flavour for the piglets. Photo: Jon Sailer/Pancosma

Controlling gut pathogens with probiotics

The therapeutic use of zinc oxide will be banned in Europe, and the industry is looking for solutions to control or prevent post-weaning diarrhoea. Probiotics, such as Enterococcus faecium, could be part of the overall solution. Pig Progress takes a closer look.

Much attention has been given to the microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract in piglets and the role it plays in their health. Research has investigated how to keep the microbiota in balance. Photo: Chr. Hansen
Much attention has been given to the microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract in piglets and the role it plays in their health. Research has investigated how to keep the microbiota in balance. Photo: Chr. Hansen

Winds of change

Casey Bradley, president of the Sunswine Group, offers some “feed for thought” for the swine industry in the nutritional sector to improve the sustainability of production.

To read the full articles, simply click on the digital magazine section and then on Pig Progress 2020-7. Registration is free.

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