Preliminary results suggest that PCV2 vaccines improve pig lifetime performance and shorten the time to slaughter. These are the initial findings of a controlled BPEX trial.
Full results and analysis of the trial, carried out at the Pig Development Centre’s Leeds University site, Spen Farm, are expected by the end of September.
The project investigated the effects of two different PCV2 vaccines – Circovac, which is given to the sow prior to farrowing, and Circoflex, which is given directly to the piglets pre-weaning.
The trial compared the piglet or sow vaccine only, the piglet and sow vaccines combined and an unvaccinated control.
Initial results indicate that the combined vaccine programme reduced time to slaughter by six days. Using only the sow or piglet vaccine in isolation resulted in a reduction of three days.
The sow vaccine appears to reduce piglet mortality in the first 24 hours resulting in heavier litters at weaning, while the piglet vaccine improved growth rates after seven weeks of age.
The work complements the field trial results from the initial vaccine voucher scheme reported in April this year. The final report on this detailed research trial will be available on the BPEX website in October.