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Hormones, hygiene and half a million pigs in Pig Progress 3

The third edition of Pig Progress for 2021 is now available online. Between the covers of this edition is a closer look at the role of hormones during the transition period of a sow, a strategy to lower pre-weaning mortality and a method to achieve better hygiene under heated conditions.

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5 questions about the role of feed with ASFv

On pages 6-8, Dr Megan Niederwerder of Kansas State University delves into the answers to 5 important questions around the role of contaminated feed in the introduction and spread of ASFv.

Can ASFv be transmitted through plant-based feed, and can feed biosecurity reduce risks? - Photo: Shutterstock
Can ASFv be transmitted through plant-based feed, and can feed biosecurity reduce risks? - Photo: Shutterstock

Brazil reduces antibiotics inside and outside farms

Policies and principles are being implemented around the world to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock. On a path to meet higher standards and new regulations, Brazil tackles the situation from both outside and inside pig farms. Read more on pages 10-12.

Promoting the implementation of sanitary and biosecurity management helps to control infections. - Photo: Vincent ter Beek
Promoting the implementation of sanitary and biosecurity management helps to control infections. - Photo: Vincent ter Beek

Biofilms: The bacterial fortress

A common survival strategy used by bacteria, biofilms are a collective of one or more types of microorganisms that can grow on many different surfaces. Their inherent resistance to antimicrobial agents is at the root of recurrent bacterial infections in livestock rearing.

Hormones, hygiene and half a million pigs in Pig Progress 3

Cooling down for more hygiene, less ammonia

An increase in ambient temperatures can lead to pen fouling which leads to impaired hygiene and air quality and increased NH3 emissions. Swedish researchers tested 2 methods of cooling finishing pig houses with partly slatted floors and measured the effect on fouling behaviour, as reported on pages 16-17.

In the study, the pigs were observed lying increasingly in the area with increased air velocity and less on the slatted floors. Pen fouling was significantly reduced. - Photo: Knut-Håkan Jeppsson
In the study, the pigs were observed lying increasingly in the area with increased air velocity and less on the slatted floors. Pen fouling was significantly reduced. - Photo: Knut-Håkan Jeppsson

Column: New terminology and methods

On page 18, columnist Dr Casey Bradley discusses how the field of swine nutrition is ever evolving with new terminology and methods for formulating swine rations.

Interview: In charge of over half a million pigs

In an interview on pages 20-21, the CEO of Master Agroindustrial, Mario Faccin, who has spent 27 years building the company in Brazil, talks about his huge pig herd, how the animals are raised, what they are fed, disease management and other challenges in pig production in the country.

Mario Faccin (67) is CEO of Master Agroindustrial, which is headquartered in Santa Catarina state, Brazil, and employs 1,200 people on its farms and slaughter facilities. - Photo: Master Agroindustrial
Mario Faccin (67) is CEO of Master Agroindustrial, which is headquartered in Santa Catarina state, Brazil, and employs 1,200 people on its farms and slaughter facilities. - Photo: Master Agroindustrial

Capacity problems vanish with better weaner care

On a farm visit reported on pages 24-26, Dutch pig producer, Roy Hannen, details how he has created additional space inside the pig house by simply increasing the pig flow. Reporter Kees van Dooren took a look behind the scenes.

The pig facility on Roy Hannen’s farm in the Netherlands is home to 1,000 sows and has a capacity for 4,000 weaner pigs and 8,000 finisher pigs. - Photo: Bert Jansen
The pig facility on Roy Hannen’s farm in the Netherlands is home to 1,000 sows and has a capacity for 4,000 weaner pigs and 8,000 finisher pigs. - Photo: Bert Jansen

Improving the chances of piglet survival

In the article on pages 29-31, Dr Keelin O’Driscoll from Teagasc in Ireland details a strategy involving nesting, nurse sows and cross-fostering to lower pre-weaning mortality and help the majority of underweight piglets to catch up with the rest of the litter.

More piglets are being born lighter, highlighting the importance of the care that must be taken to reduce the risk and proportion of pre-weaning mortality. - Photo: Teagasc
More piglets are being born lighter, highlighting the importance of the care that must be taken to reduce the risk and proportion of pre-weaning mortality. - Photo: Teagasc

Animal-based proteins can be replaced in diets

Although consumed the least, nursery diets are the most complex and the most expensive by volume, so pig producers tend to look for other sources of protein components. Animal-based proteins, which are concentrated sources of amino acids, B-vitamins and minerals, as discussed on pages 32-33, can be included in early nursery diets.

Feeding an all-vegetable diet to nursery pigs can be tricky but is possible with careful consideration of all ingredients. - Photo: Hamlet Protein
Feeding an all-vegetable diet to nursery pigs can be tricky but is possible with careful consideration of all ingredients. - Photo: Hamlet Protein

Hormones: Essential to think of when feeding sows

This article on pages 35-36 offers insights into hormones. Nutrients and hormones play a critical role in regulating bodily functions during the transition period of a sow. Hormones are derived from nutrients, and so these components should not be forgotten.

A sow in the transition phase. - Photo: De Heus
A sow in the transition phase. - Photo: De Heus

Column: Protests for progress

On page 42, interdisciplinary researcher, Irene Camerlink, discusses the anticipation of further “rebellion against authorities” this year, also in the agriculture industry. With all the changes going on, she says it wouldn’t be surprising to see an uprising in pig farming as well...

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