This edition of Pig Progress considers the lessons learnt on weaning without the medical use of zinc oxide. In an interview, Michel Marcon, director of R&D at IFIP, talks about pig and pork-related research in France. Also, what genetic factors have been discovered that relate to pre-weaning mortality? This and more in Pig Progress edition 2 for 2023.
9 genetic factors related to pre-weaning mortality
A major question in pig production centres on how pre-weaning piglet mortality can be reduced. While solutions are explored in management, health and nutrition, genetics can also play an important role. This article on pages 6-7 explores some pertinent ideas to tackle this challenge.
Current R&D investments of approximately €10 million per year at the French Pork and Pig Institute (IFIP) focus on addressing concerns of increasingly critical consumers. Pig Progress spoke to Michel Marcon, R&D director at IFIP, to find out about the institute, its areas of research, links to other European institutes and more. Pages 8-9.
JRP: Carbon footprint, carcasses, and coughs
A variety of pertinent topics were addressed and research discussed at the 55th edition of the French Swine Research days, including the impact of dietary protein on the carbon footprint of pig production, the classification of swine carcasses according to muscle content in France and the EU, cough monitoring through sound-based monitoring technology, and an update on France’s pig herd. Pages 10-11.
Farm visit: Farrowing pen design helps against crushing
Peace and quiet, supervision and separate functional areas should be prioritised to prevent crushing, according to German organic pig producer, Wilhelm Schulte-Remmert, who works with 180 free farrowing sows. Pig Progress visited his farm to hear his thoughts on the continuous communication between humans and animals, the character of the sows, and more. Pages 16-18.
Column: Post-weaning diarrhoea and meningitis
E. coli and S. suis problems in post-weaning pigs could be related. With the EU ban on therapeutic levels of zinc oxide, Pig Progress columnist Dr Francesc Molist of Schothorst Feed Research explains on page 19 the link between post-weaning diarrhoea, meningitis and arthritis, and what consequence this has for dietary recommendations.
While it can be agreed that a “silver bullet” has yet to be discovered with regards to finding alternatives to the medical use of zinc oxide in the rearing of piglets, Denmark has for several years been at the forefront of embracing the goal of finding suitable alternatives. This article on pages 22-23 looks at the lessons learned so far.
Column: Pig health and intact tails
Columnist, pig health and welfare expert, Dr Monique Pairis-Garcia, shares her thoughts on page 26 the issue of tail biting in pigs. The association between pig tails and health is not so clear, she says.