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Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan


Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:



High-Fibre Diets and Immune Stimulation Increase Threonine Requirements in Growing Pigs

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on July 26, 2018

Authors: Dan Columbas, PhD, Research Scientist, Prairie Swine Centre, Inc., and Michael Wellington, MSC, PhD Student, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: New legislation and increasing consumer pressure is influencing producers to decrease antibiotic use in agriculture. In order to continue maintaining animal performance it is necessary that alternatives to antibiotic use are developed. For this reason, nutritional alternatives to antibiotic use need to be concretely identified.  Pigs whose immune system has been challenged display a decreased feed intake which translates to poor growth rates, which can have a significant impact on the producers profitability.

When looking at the immune response of the pig, it is apparent that glutamine, arginine, threonine, and aromatic and sulfur amino acids are important precursors for synthesis of many components. Providing these amino acids is postulated to aid in time of stress and disease challenge by improving the pig response and growth performance.

As inclusion of co-products of the milling and biofuel industry increases, it is apparent that fibre content is increases as well as an inconsistent protein level compromises the overall robustness and health status of the pigs.

The study focused on threonine inclusion, to maximize protein deposition. They concluded that there is an increased threonine requirement during times of immune challenge. As well this study determined the interactive effects of both fibre and immune stimulation. This information can be utilized when formulating diets that do not incorporate antibiotics at least cost while maintaining animal performance.

High-Fibre DIets and Immune Stimulation Increase Threonine Requirements in Growing Pigs

Development of Novel Microparticles for Effective Delivery of an Antimicrobial Essential Oil to Pig Intestinal Tract

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on

Authors: Faith Adeyinka Omonijo and Chengbo Yang, Department of Animal Science, Univesity of Manitoba

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: Piglets susceptibility to different stressors such as bacterial pathogens and oxidative stress inflammation can lead to reduced growth performance, high mortality and morbidity rates and compromised animal welfare. In nursery diets, it has been a common practice to utilize antibiotic growth promoters, however with increased concern for the utilization of antibiotics in agriculture there has been a push for research developing alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters. Thymol is a highly volatile essential oil that has been recognized for its usage a an alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters. It is necessary that a method be developed to protect the essential oil until it reaches the lower gut.

The objective of this study was to develop a microencapsulation technique that would be affordable and easy to deliver thymol to the target site. Through this study it was determined that low melting point fat particles with an inclusion of 2 percent polysaccharide solution presented a slow released rate of thymol and lauric acid. As a result of this study, they had recommended that the formula and method that was utilized during the course of study (low melting point fat and 2 percent polysaccharide) would pose as an effective an affordable was to potentially deliver essential oils to the intestinal tract of the pig.

Development of Novel Microparticles for Effective Delivery of an Antimicrobial

Precision Feeding for Gestating Sows- Results of a Commercial Trial

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Authors: Laetitia Cloutier, Agr, M.Sc., Patrick Gagnon, Ph.D., Genevieve Berthiaume, B.Sc., Leonie Morin-Dore, M.Sc.

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: The first part of the project focused on determining the nutritional and economic impacts of precision feeding. In the initial portion of this study they determined that during late gestation and for gilts precision feeding would be beneficial as lysine requirements are important during these times and conventional feeding struggles to meet these needs. They also determined that precision feeding would be able to minimize the surpluses on multiparous sows reducing the cost of feeding by approximately $3/sow per year.

The second aspect of this trial was completed in a commercial setting, where they aimed to validate the effects of precision feeding on growth performance, productivity and cost of feeding sows. Economically, they determined that the gain from precision feeding is limited to the reduction of feeding costs of approximately $3/sow per year. There was no observed impact on the condition of the sows or the performance of their piglets.

It is still possible that precision feeding could improve performance of gilts. This is yet to be validated.

Precision Feeding for Gestating Sows- Results of a Commercial Trial

Suckling of a Teat for Two Days in First Parity Ensure Enough Milk is Produced in Second Parity

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Author: Chantal Farmer, Ph.D., Robert Friendship, D.V.M., M.Sc., Rocio Amezcua, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: It is known that a teat that is not suckled during the first lactation will be less productive during future lactation, however how long is it necessary to suckle a teat to avoid this negative effect? It has been displayed in recent studies that a short time of two days of suckling in parity one is an effective way to have the milk yield of the sow unaffected during the second parity. Comparing leaving the piglet for only two days and up to 21 days it was also determined that there is no benefit of leaving the piglet on for any more days than two.

This information can be utilized when developing management practices for first parity sows. It is possible to remove piglets from first parity sows without having a negative affect on milk yield during the next lactation by allowing the piglets to suckle for two days. By reducing the litter size in poor body condition sows it is possible to increase their future reproductive performance and increase longevity within the herd.

Suckling of a Teat for Two Days in First Parity Ensures Enough Milk is Produced in Second Parity

4-H Growing Minds and Hearts for the Future of Ag

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on

Author: Sheri Monk

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: 4-H involvement leads many kids into a career in agricultural sciences. Erin Smith, the director for 4-H Canada explains how 4-H can aid in career exploration. Hilary Baker is just one example, she joined 4-H when she was 11, when she attended the University of Alberta she was part of the University of Alberta Collegiate 4-H. Now Baker works as an area rangeland management specialist with the Alberta government.

Another example of how 4-H aids in agricultural appreciation and career development is Alyssa Barbero. From the time that she was nine she was apart of 4-H Beef Club. When she was a little older she joined the Rocky Mountain 4-H Swine Cub. Currently Alyssa works as a conservation technician with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

4-H Club Help Foster a Thirst For Learning, Science

Transitioning to Loose Sow Housing

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production, Swine Innovation by student on July 25, 2018

Author: John Van Engelen

Summary:

John Van Engelen describes the phases of his conversion for stall housing to group housing for sows.

New Hand at the Helm of Prairie Swine Centre

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on

Author: Sheri Monk

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: Prairie Swine Centre is known for its relationship with producers and the practical approach it takes towards academic research. Over the past 25 years Prairie Swine Centre has been an asset to the swine industry. Late last year CEO Lee Whittington announced that he would be retiring, the new CEO to be appointed was announced early this year as Dr. Murray Pettitt.

Dr. Pettitt is no stranger to Prairie Swine Centre, although this position will be new to him. The position attracted Dr. Pettitt as he believes in practical research. He believes in the mandate of Prairie Swine Centre and that they are providing value to the producers along with other members of the pork value chain.

As of yet Dr. Pettitt has spend a considerable amount of time with the outgoing CEO, Lee Whittington learning the ropes and renewing friendships and working relationships. He has been in information gathering mode so that he can learn everything he can regarding the business and how it works. The production side is something that Pettitt has to take on as well, as a portion of the income of Prairie Swine Centre is due to the sale of market animals.

New Hand at the Helm of the Prairie Swine Centre

 

Commercial Scale Research By Gowans Feeding Consulting

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on

Author: Gowans Feed Consulting

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: Research in commercial conditions can aid producers in improving performance, reducing production costs, and increasing net returns by focusing on the utilization of different feed ingredients, different feed additives and different feeding strategies.

University or research setting generally utilize animals of higher health status, smaller pen sizes, and lower stocking density giving different results than that of a commercial operation. Gowans feed consulting is a research company that employs research into the commercial setting. The barns have the ability to conduct research from weaning to slaughter.

Lewisville Nursery Research Barn: A 1,400 commercial research nursery barn established in 2016. It has two rooms, each being able to accommodate 700 pigs. The facility is divided into 50 test pens that can each hold 28 pigs.

Drumloche Grow-Finish Research Barn: This 2,100 grow-finisher facility was established in 2005. The facility is divided into two rooms of 50 pens. There are two pens in each room that are utilized for injured or treated pigs.

Commercial Scale Research by Gowans Feed Consulting

Ten-Year-Old Field Study Yields Wealth of Information on Manure Management

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on

Author: Christine Rawluk, National Centre for Livestock and Environment, University of Manitoba

Reference: Canadian Hog Journal Summer 2018

Summary: In 2007, the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE) Long Term Field Laboratory was developed with the initial question: ” what happens to nitrogen availability and soil phosphorous levels over time when manure is applied either annually, at rates to meet crop N requirements, or intermittently, at rates to match crop P removal for several year?”

Since then, other questions have been asked such as:

  • “What is the capacity of the soil to continue to provide nitrogen if manure applications stop?”
  • “How does suspending manure application impact drawdown of soil test phosphorus levels?”

The field laboratory is composed of 96 plots that are under an annual cropping system or a perennial forage-based cropping system. The plots were treated with either an intermittent or annual application of liquid pig, solid pig and solid dairy manures as well as synthetic fertilizer. The control plots were treated with no fertilizer.

From this study the key findings regarding N have been:

  • Crop growth is enhanced by the readily available nitrogen in liquid pig manure
  • Annual manure addition over an eight year time frame created a soil reserve of N that can be utilized by future crops
  • The residual soil nitrates in the fall increased periodically through the course of the study

From this study the key findings regarding P have been:

  • Annual addition of P resulted in the rate of application being greater than the rate that P was removed, which increase the risk for runoff losses to surface water aiding in algae growth
  • Once annual P addition was stopped the soil test P levels decreased faster om sites with a higher STP.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer application did not accelerate the drawdown of STP

Ten-Year-Old Field Study Yields Wealth of Information on Manure Management

Group Sow Housing Across Canada: What Have We Seen

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production, Swine Innovation by student on

Author: Doug Richards and Dr. Jennifer Brown

Summary:

This project had Doug Richard and Dr. Jennifer Brown traveling across the country to visit and tour barns with producers that had group sow houses or were going to put it in.

The following is a brief tour of what they saw:

New Brunswick: 1200 sow operation, since 2004. Saw the benefits of genetic selection over 12 years, well oiled machines. Benefit of culling for genetics. Has a shower unit.

Quebec: 850 sow operation, solid bedrooms with partitions. Renovation. Has solid floors in the middle.

Quebec: 600 sow. Renovation. Utilized Gestal operation.

Ontario: 1400 sow operation, new build, each pen has 17-18 sows. Has to go off of parity and size, “gilts in their first parity cause a lot of problems”. This was the only competitive feeding system. There are not partitions. Feed in the morning.

Ontario: 650 sow operation. Renovation. Fully slated barn.

Ontario: 1800 sow. Partitions, sows like to have something against their back and their side.

Ontario: 220 sow.

Ontario: 100 sow Organic, 23 pigs per pen. Allows the pigs outside. Farrowing crate is 81 sq feet and only closed for four hours.

Manitoba: 3000 sow operation. Never loss production. Rented another bar. Then once the one side was completed they moved the sows from the one side to the other and started construction on the other half. The sows that were send out to the rented barn where not brought back to the property they were culled.

Manitoba: 650 operation. Put in a training unit. This is one thing that was lacking in most of the systems.

Saskatchewan: 600 sow operation. The gilt barn is totally slatted, sow barn has some solids.

Alberta: 275 sow, conversion. Have to work with the manufacturer to see what you can do.

Takes different staff training to work with these animals as they do not respond the same way that stall housed sows do.

 
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