Farmscape for March 30, 2023
The CEO of Signature Swine Solutions says the quicker a pig is identified as sick and is treated, the less discomfort it will have to endure and the greater chance it will have at recovery.
The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board hosted the first in a series of three spring webinars yesterday, "Practical Pig Handling and Animal Care: Tips & Tricks."
Mara Rozitis, the CEO of Signature Swine Solutions, says pigs will hide their disability so they are often quite far down the path of illness before they are identified as sick and treated and by that time their chance of making a full recovery is low compared to if they were identified sooner.
Clip-Mara Rozitis-Signature Swine Solutions:
Pigs are prey animals and they are going to hide their disability from us if they possibly can but there are a few tricks you can use to help find them earlier.
For breeding stock, we want to make sure they get up every day.
I'm not suggesting you need to chase every animal up but look for signs that they haven't been up.
If a sow has a bunch of feed left over, we can be pretty sure there is something up with her and we should investigate what it is.
If you have electronic feeders, you can check their records.
If you have a stall barn, you can easily see if they get up when you feed them in the morning.
It's a bit trickier in adlib feeding situations but most sow feeders have at least a partly transparent type.
You can see if they've eaten since the last time the system filled.
Pigs have a super strong feed drive, so if they aren't getting up to eat, we really want to investigate why.
Then once you've identified the problem the animal should be treated according to your vet's instructions.
Here I really want to point out that it takes exactly the same amount of time and effort to treat an animal early in its illness as it will later on and your chances of success are so much greater if you can act early.
Rozitis says simply making sure animals get up once per day is one of the most surefire ways to know they're OK.
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