Wednesday, January 30, 2019
AGRIBUSINESS: How to protect a pig farm from African Swine Fever.(ASF). ASF is all about contact ASF is spread by contact. Far less by the pig breathing the virus in as in Classical Swine Fever, so it should be easier to prevent and control. Think ‘contact’ in everything you plan to do and subsequently carry out on the premises. The contact is not just pig to pig, but what we humans do by allowing the ASF virus in through contact on the clothing equipment, vehicles, food deliveries, breeding stock and every other visit by an ‘outsider’ to or into your vulnerable farm premises. 1) Keep everybody off your farm You will need discipline and tact to do this effectively. Quite brutally, you do not know where they have been! So do not risk it. The only permissible person as routine is the pig veterinarian and of all people he should take the necessary precautions.Even so, do not allow his vehicle on to the farm. Have a parking spot outside the perimeter and if necessary, help carry his equipment in for him. There will be skilled artisans of course, electricity, roofing, plumbing, etc. who will need access. Keep their vehicles off the farm too and make it clear beforehand (for the sake of good relations) that they will have to use farm overalls and footwear and need their equipment mist-sprayed. 2)An unbreakable farm perimeter defense. For the delivery of replacement stock (semen is safer than live pigs) and the collection of finished pigs, have designated areas on or just outside the farm perimeter. On no account allow ‘helpful’ drivers (offering to assist with the loading) on to the premises. The same with bulk or bagged food and supplies. As soon as you can, set up food reception bulk bins using your own inlet hoses, not theirs; a covered site for bags and other bulky deliveries. All 3 on the farm boundary, for later inward transmission by your own staff, never theirs. 3)Vehicles may bring in the ASF virus Failure to consider the wheels and undersides of vehicles were a major omission in the previous viral outbreaks , and proved to be a major disease vector. One aspect of this even today is to remember that your own vehicles may bring in disease, so a separate entrance and exit for these is wise, where the essential minimum of an approved disinfectant dip at least as long as a tyre`s circumference is installed and kept fresh – remember rainfall. Bigger units, where the cost of viral ingress can be catastrophic because of their sheer size, should invest in a vehicle-operated under-spray device, Workers’ transport, from bicycles upwards, should, after passing through the dip area, have their own parking area away from the usual paths and tracks used by staff between buildings. 4) Fly control on pig farms is essential. While the spread of most viruses is involved in respiration, this route of infection is less likely with ASF. But flies are a direct contact medium for ASF, so it is essential that they are kept under control. There is plenty of advice on this. What should be done is to have a ‘fly expert’ on the farm so that one person has the responsibility of fly control – which has the advantage of if not having forthcoming results, then training in this area can be instituted. Flies are indeed identified as a mechanical vector to spread ASF.
Agribusiness:How to get small piglets to eat more feed.What influences feed intake of small piglets? Researchers from the Netherlands looked at the effects on feed intake and feeding behaviour of many aspects of feed in more detail. The scientists, attached to Wageningen University and Research, published about the research in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. They describe a trial that tested the feeding behaviour of suckling piglets when different diets were supplied to them. The hypothesis of the study was that presentation of the feed in a more diverse form, by varying multiple sensory properties of the feed, stimulates pre-weaning feed intake. Stimulating solid feed intake in suckling piglets is important to facilitate the weaning transition, exemplified by the positive correlation between pre- and post-weaning feed intake. 2 different diets tested by piglets Piglets received ad libitum feed from 2 days of age in 2 feeders per pen (choice feeding set-up).Feed A was an experimental diet from the university’s Animal Nutrition Group. Extruder settings intendedly varied during production, resulting in differences in pellet texture, length and hardness to create diversity within feed A. Feed B is a commercial diet, called Baby Big XL, from Coppens Diervoeding in the Netherlands. Feed B was a 14-mm diameter pellet, with a length of 10-20 mm and a hardness of 6.8 kg.Feeding behaviour was studied by weighing feed remains and by live observations. Observations were also used to discriminate ‘eaters’ from ‘non-eaters’. In addition, eaters were grouped into different eater classes (i.e. good, moderate and bad). Provision of feed A and B increased pre-weaning feed intake by 50% compared to provision of feed A only (with and without additional flavours). Piglets receiving feed A and B had no overall preference in terms of feed intake for either feed A or B, indicating pre-weaning feed intake increased by an enhanced intake of both feeds. These results supported the researchers’ hypothesis that the more diverse the feeds provided in terms of sensory properties (e.g. ingredient composition, texture), the greater the intake will be. The reason for this is expected to be sensory-specific satiety and/or piglets’ intrinsic motivation to explore.
AGRIBUSINESS: Print-Arome for flavour imprinting. Print-Arome is flavor formulated with essential oils.Dosed in the sows and post-weaning diets generate an “imprinting” effect in the piglets. This effect familiarizes the piglets with its scent and facilitates the introduction to solid food. As a result, it increases feed intake, weight gain and reduces health problems associated with early weaning. It improves feed intake by 95% while it reduces stress by 92%. Print-Arome.
Agribusiness: A good start is vital for healthy piglets.Raising healthy piglets from start through weaning is a challenge not to be underestimated, impacting performance and health at later stages. Sudden change in dietary regimens and management at weaning puts a heavy burden on the animal’s immature digestive system. This leads to a disturbed immune system and microbiota, and increased susceptibility to diseases. Stress already starts at birth, a crucial period filled with risks: piglets must be born strong and healthy and remain that way. Once born, piglets encounter several hurdles: piglets suffer from all kinds of pathogenic challenges with an immature immune system. There is a significant and immediate demand on the gut to digest and absorb nutrients efficiently to maintain a high growth rate. Intestinal epithelial cell integrity is of prime importance considering that this epithelium is responsible for absorption of water, electrolytes, and nutrients. Not to forget the beneficial microbiome that must establish itself as soon as possible to guarantee a fully functioning intestinal tract. Once the piglet could manage these hurdles, another event, considered as a major stressor, takes place: weaning. Although technological improvements in housing, nutrition, and management are available to minimise the stress, piglets are weaned at unphysiologically early ages. The sudden change in dietary regimens at weaning places a heavy burden on the immature digestive system of the piglet. The gastro-intestinal tract is affected by a change in microbiome, mechanical damage, and inflammation as reaction to the stresses (social, nutritional, handling) of weaning. The effects are aggravated by the immature immune system which has not developed a full response to cope with pathogens, resulting in disease . It is clear impairment of the normal gut and immune function, leading to diarrhoea and even death, which needs to be avoided.
AGRIBUSINESS: 4 piglet parameters for lifetime performance. Genetic selection is leading to larger litters of piglets born with lowered levels of physiological maturity. As this trend amplifies an evolutionary strategy in swine favouring survival of the fittest, it presents negative performance and animal welfare implications. Sow Peripartal Syndrome is a complex web of interactions affecting sows and piglets during the peripartal period. At least four parameters are present at birth that can ultimately determine piglets’ lifetime performance. The following is an update on research underway to managing the syndrome. Alive at birth While genetic selection has increased the total number of pigs per litter, the number of pigs born alive has not increased at the same pace. Among stillborn piglets, 75% die during farrowing, with asphyxia being the most common cause of death. Risk factors associated with stillbirths include prolonged farrowing, birth order, birth weight and intra-uterine growth retardation. While traditional strategies to reduce the number of stillborn piglets have focused on supervision and intervention during the farrowing process. Trouw Nutrition research is focusing on changes occurring throughout all phases of the reproductive cycle which may affect the number of piglets born alive. For example, as most stillborn piglets died during the farrowing process, we are finding solutions to make piglets more resilient through the challenging farrowing process.
AGRIBUSINESS: Heat stress in pigs and its effect on the gut. Heat Stress is a physiological response to high environmental temperatures, where the animal is out of its thermoneutral zone and can no longer effectively regulate its body temperature. Consequently, animal health, well-being and performance are negatively affected. When pigs are exposed to high environmental temperatures, several behavioural, physiological and metabolic mechanisms are activated to reduce heat production and increase heat dissipation to maintain the body temperature within normal physiological ranges. The most effective mechanism to reduce heat production is to lower the feed intake. This drop in feed intake is more accentuated as the body weight decreases.
Monday, August 20, 2018
GENE EDITING AND PIG CASTRATION. Male piglets used for pork production are routinely castrated to improve the quality of meat for consumers. Castration gets rid of boar taint, an unpleasant odor and unsavory taste in the meat. For decades, castration has been done surgically. But new breeding technology can produce male piglets that never reach puberty. Tad Sonstegard is the chief scientific officer of Acceligen, a company that focuses on genetic improvement in food animals. He says these piglets will come from the company DNA Genetics. "Those males will have had to have been rescued from being infertile, and then they would just breed sows that also had been rescued and the offspring between the breeding of those two rescued genetic lines would result in sterile males and females, we believe," he says. "Those are what would be sold from the multiplier sites out to the swine producers." The technology will make a piglet’s life a little easier – and the producer’s as well. GENE EDITING AND PIG CASTRATION.
Friday, July 20, 2018
Cows and pigs are great livestock, but they can also make you really sick.Sometimes in this world, it’s the little things that can cause the most problems. Really, really little things. This is especially true for anyone working around or with livestock in Maine, according to Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner, director of the University of Maine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and associate professor of animal and veterinary science. Some farm animals can actually “share” parasites with their human companions. “There are actually just a handful of parasites that I worry about,” Lichtenwalner said. “These are critters that are parasites that can live inside you and tend not to be fatal, but that can cause some ugly surprises.” The two most common zoonotic parasites — those that can transfer from animals to humans — in Maine are Ascaris suum and Cryptosporidium. “You are protected by your innate and acquired immune system,”
Friday, July 6, 2018
New coronavirus emerges from bats in China, devastates young swine. A newly identified coronavirus that killed nearly 25,000 piglets in 2016-17 in China emerged from horseshoe bats near the origin of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which emerged in 2002 in the same bat species. The new virus, called swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), doesn't appear to infect people, unlike SARS-CoV which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774. No SARS-CoV cases have been identified since 2004. The study investigators identified SADS-CoV on four pig farms in China's Guangdong Province.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak that devastated many US hog farms over the past 4 years served as a wake-up call for the pork industry to be more vigilant against foreign animal diseases. “We know what to do in the case of foreign animal diseases, like foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever and African swine fever,” Dustin Oedekoven, DVM, South Dakota state veterinarian, said. He thinks the industry also has a “fairly clear direction” about how to handle future investigations and where to submit diagnostic samples. A gap that became evident with the PEDV outbreak is we weren’t working in a coordinated manner to control the spread of the disease. As a result, it spread very rapidly because the swine industry was very naïve to the virus. Veterinarians worked with producers to identify the critical problems. Samples were submitted to diagnostic labs for routine workup. And when the expected diseases weren’t found, the labs initiated additional diagnostic tests and were able to identify PEDV. Other diagnostic labs worked collaboratively to develop a rapid test to identify the virus. However, a break in communications caused a gap in timely response to the disease.
PEDV and other pathogens survive in feed for weeks.In 2013-2014, infection of pig farms with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was a frequent event, even on farms using the highest level of biosecurity. Investigations into the occurrence showed one common denominator across many of these farms which was feed outage in a specific subpopulation of animals, requiring an emergency feed delivery to a specific bin onsite. The pigs consuming the feed from the emergency delivery were the first to become infected. Samples from inside the suspect feed bins were collected and sent to a diagnostic lab for testing. The results showed the feed did contain live PEDV, an outcome that had not been confirmed before.
Every year, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) infects an estimated 25% to 45% of sow herds in the US, according to Clayton Johnson, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Clinic, Carthage, Illinois. No other hog disease today exerts a larger economic toll on hog farms than PRRS. On farms that break with PRRS, producers should decide if they are going to control the virus and keep antibiotics available for secondary bacterial infections, or if they are going to eliminate it. “Elimination is very difficult,” he said. “And inappropriate attempts to do elimination may actually hinder PRRS management by creating naïve animals that won’t stay naïve. They will propagate the disease at a greater level than an immune animal.” A herd’s “break rate” for PRRS can help determine if a herd is a candidate for elimination. The break rate should be less than once every 3 years to consider elimination, Johnson said. If it is very regular, the herd probably needs additional biosecurity work or technology to minimize outbreaks.
Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome control in Asia. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) continues to be one of the most economically devastating viral diseases affecting pig farms in major swine producing countries in Asia. Recent data from Japan showed a reduction of 53.7g per day on ADG and an increase of 2.2% in post-weaning mortalities in PRRS positive farms as compared to the production performance of PRRS negative farms. However, although many farms are infected, the clinical impact of PRRS infection varies. Different factors lead to such variability in the clinical presentation including the strain infecting the herd, the type of production (single site farrow-to-finish vs multi-site systems), the season (weather), the presence of co-infections prior to PRRS introduction, the pig density in the immediate locality of the farm and the way the farm manages their replacement breeders. Effective control programs focus on addressing the predisposing factors through management changes and on ensuring herd immunity is well established. Different approaches have been done to stabilise herd immunity to PRRS including exposing the sow herd to infected animals or live virus and doing whole herd vaccination. However, although vaccination is increasingly used in Asia to reduce the impact of PRRS, the results have been variable. Many factors may have contributed to the differences in efficacy of vaccines, but the major difference is PRRS vaccine strain used in the final formulation and its ability to provide effective cross protection against the predominant field PRRS strains.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Exposure to pig farms and manure fertilizers associated with MRSA infections.Researchers have found an association between living in proximity to high-density livestock production and community-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA. Researchers from Geisinger's Henry Hood Center for Health Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found an association between living in proximity to high-density livestock production and community-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Their analysis concluded that approximately 11 percent of community-acquired MRSA and soft tissue infections in the study population could be attributed to crop fields fertilized with swine manure. The study examine the association between high-density livestock operations and manure-applied crop fields and MRSA infections in the community.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
RESEARCH : How to make pigs grow bigger and faster with vitamin c.How to make pigs grow bigger and faster with vitamin c.According to a team of experts from UP at Los Baños, adding ascorbic acid or Vitamin C to the diet of pigs — 800 gms. for every kilo of feeds, will make them grow faster compared to those treated with normal diets. RESEARCH : How to make pigs grow bigger and faster with vitamin c. It was further noted that Vitamin-C treated pigs when slaughtered had a higher dressing percentage, leaner backfat and more lean cut yields.
Monday, November 27, 2017
Taking time to walk the pens, make eye contact with each pig and pull the sick ones for individual care seems to conflict with the basic tenets and efficiencies of population medicine.One-on-one pig care means to make sure to look at every pig every day — and that we evaluate them essentially from tail to snout — to try to identify any potential problems that pig may have as quickly as possible. The approach involves three basic steps: Identifying the at-risk pig, being specific about its symptoms and effectively communicating the situation to others in the operation. Practically speaking, the process begins with spotting the outlier — the pig that simply strikes you as somehow unusual. Farmers shoulld walk through the barn to develop a pattern as they go through each pen, to make sure they get an opportunity to look at every pig. Basically, looking for any of the clinical signs that the pig isn’t normal such as For example: 1)Is he coughing?. 2)Does he have diarrhea? 3)Is he gaunt and not eating? 4)Is there nasal discharge?. 5)Does he appear stiff or lame when he moves? The next step will be to institute individual treatment protocols with an injectable antibiotic — typically already in place and specific for each farm and for each flow and system — can be called into use right away and used under veterinary supervision. Early intervention is really the key as we look at individual pig care,because we know that if we treat a pig later in the course of the disease, we have poorer response to treatment so if we can treat the pig earlier, we can have a better response. Research has shown that on farms with low health status, training caretakers to identify and treat sick pigs at an early stage of disease can improve growth and productivity during the all-important nursery and growing periods.
Urine sampling can reliably detect penicillin residues in sows.Urine sampling is an effective way to detect procaine penicillin G (PPG) residues prior to processing and may help producers avoid processing-plant violations. There has been an increasing incidence of PPG-residue detection in cull sows reported, due in part to changes in the PPG-testing method made by USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service in 2011. Residues of PPG in sows are not uncommon at processing, although plasma concentrations of PPG correlate well with tissue residue, collecting and evaluating plasma is complicated. Urine is easier to collect and handle. PPG residues are most often found in sows if extra-label doses of PPG have been administered or if treatment was continued for more than 3 consecutive days. A study carried out by Karriker, DVM, a professor at Iowa State University shown below: Karriker designed a study involving 47 sows, with three treatment groups: Group 1 received the labeled dose of 3,000 IU/lb (3 mL/lb). Group 2 received an average volume of sterile solution once a day for 3 days. Group 3 received an extra-label dose of 15,000 IU/lb (15 mL/lb) once a day for 3 consecutive days. Karriker found PPG residues persist longest in injection-site tissues — for at least 28 days after PPG administration. It stays in the skeletal muscles for 14 days. PPG depletes faster from the kidneys, and residues can be found for up to 6 days after administration to the sow. Sampling the sow’s environment was not reliable for determining residues. While PPG residues were easily found in the environment, they did not correlate with tissue residues, Karriker says. The current withdrawal time for PPG is 7 days. Although a 15-day withdrawal time has been proposed by the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank, it may not be sufficient to avoid processing-plant violations, Karriker says.
This is how urine-sampling options make it easier to evaluate gilt and sow health. Urine samples are an effective but underutilized diagnostic tool for evaluating the nutritional, physiological and health status of gilts and sows. The challenge is how to collect quality urine samples efficiently and reliably on the farm. The free-catch option, where a person collects a free-flow urine sample from the animal, is challenging and time consuming. These are other methods of urine collection proposed for speed and accuracy and the catch there is the means of collection did not alter values of calcium, phosphorus and creatinine. 1) The tampon technique : a super-sized, unscented tampon with a plastic applicator and umbrella absorbency was used. Once inserted into the gilt’s or sow’s vestibule, the exterior string was secured to the outside of the animal with waterproof tape. Following urination, the tampon was transferred to a urine cup. 2) The Whirl Pak® technique: a 24-ounce bag positioned around the vulva was used and secured with elastic tape. Following urination, the bag was removed and the sample was transferred to a urine cup. The urine samples were analysed including the samples from the free catch and it was observed that there was no significant difference between the results for the calcium, phosphorus and creatinine ratios between the three sampling methods. The samples were also analysed for blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, ketones, protein, nitrite, glucose, leukocytes and ascorbic acid, as well as pH, specific gravity and sediment and there was no significant difference.
A three-step approach for spotting sick sows. A three-pronged approach to observing sows can help identify illness, lower mortality and increase productivity. When more attention is given to pigs,taking a closer look during farrowing, gestation and lameness can reveal potential problems before they become serious.When staff are trained to look and respond to signs of sickness quickly, producers can improve animal well-being and their bottom line in one move. Farrowing watchfulness. Farm staff should regularly check to see how the gilt or sow adjusts to being in a farrowing crate and whether she is eating and drinking, cleaning the feeder, or is in distress. Most operations have someone in the room during the farrowing process, checking the sow regularly. If too much time passes between pigs being born (more than 20 or 30 minutes), someone should manually check the sow. Post-farrowing care. Make sure all the afterbirth has passed and that the sow is well and eating normally — especially during lactation,also check that sows are comfortable and monitor their body condition, especially at warmer times of the year. At some farms rectal temperature is checked routinely at 24 hours post-farrowing to make sure there is no residual complications and that she’s properly cleaned. Uterine infections will show up on temperatures of 103 degrees or more. If a sow has a high temperature, it will be put off from eating and drinking, which will affect milk production. Eliminate lameness. More than 50% of sow deaths are caused by lameness, but early intervention and aggressive treatment could reduce that figure significantly. In a 2,500-sow operation if you’re not treating 8 to 10 sows on a daily basis, you’re probably not treating enough. Lameness can be caused by housing, diseases, injury, nutrition, environmental issues or genetics. Check for sows that have difficulty standing or rising, and if animals shift their weight or tap their feet, look for swelling, cuts or bleeding. If an animal avoids the group or is walking slowly thats an indicator to check them out more closely.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Feeding pigs with proteins from the sea.In the search for alternative protein sources, it may be a very good idea to look towards the sea for inspiration. These are the benefits of ingredients like blue mussels, starfish and seaweed. Everybody agrees that it is likely that someday, there will be a shortage of protein to feed livestock in order to fulfil the expected big increase in the demand for meat for human consumption. This issue create a need to search for new sustainable protein sources, which can lead to local or at least European self-sufficiency. As from the beginning of 2018, the organic pig and poultry producers will face a challenge of having sufficient amounts of organic protein. In this context, blue protein, such as blue mussels, starfish, and seaweed may fit well as future feedstuffs, because they solve important challenges for the industry and society. Blue mussels can be grown on lines where the naturally occurring mussel larvae colonise ropes or plastic tubes or nets as of late spring. They filter the seawater for algae and can be harvested year round and already from the first coming winter, preferably before the risk of ice coverage. When mussels are harvested, they need to be processed to allow storage.