Industry Partners

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:

Effect of litter size and parity on farrowing room productivity and grow-finish performance

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by PSCI on July 31, 2017 | No Comments

Sows that farrowed larger litters weaned more pigs and sent more pigs to the
finisher unit, even though mortality was higher and the average birth weight of these litters was lower.

• Increased litter size resulted in:
– Decreased average birth weight
-No effect on birthweight SD
-No effect on body weight at 7 wk post·weaning
– No effect on carcass parameters

• Decreased birth weight resulted in:
-Increased days to market
– No effect on the lean or fat content of picnic, loin, hock or ham
-No overall effect on palatability
– No effect on carcass parameters

Effect of litter size and parity on farrowing room

Impact of Large Litters on Performance and Carcass Quality

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Increased litter size resulted in a reduction in average BW and increased proportion of small (less than 1 kg) piglets as well as a higher standard deviation.

Impact of Large Litters on performance and carcass quality

The problem of constipated barns economics and throughput

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This presentation discusses how to maintain efficiency and throughput in a barn. The summary of this presentation is as follows:

  • There appears to be no advantage to sorting pigs into the finisher, In fact there may be growth performance benefits to not not sorting.
  • Use seasonal variations to your advantage
    • Plan ahead for decreased growth rate in summer
  • Asses optimum marketing weights
  • Maintain health
  • Be mindful of sick pen use
  • Use marketing to reduce stocking density
  • Do not waste time on things that make little to no impact

The problem of constipated barns economics and throughput

Twelve Born Alive: Its not all hugs and kisses

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This presentation outlines several challenges associated with the 30 piglets per sow per year goal that most producers set. Sow body condition score is critical for maintaining proper lactation levels for a reduced pre weaning mortality. The studies discussed in this presentation focus on the issue of lactation nutrition, body condition, long term productivity and management solutions for optimizing on farm performance.

Twelve Born Alive not all hugs and kisses

Grower/Finisher Feeders: Design, Behaviour and Performance – monograph

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by PSCI on July 14, 2017 | No Comments

Twelve commercial models of feeders were classified into 4 groups: single-space dry (2 models), multiple-space dry (4), single-space wet/dry (3), and multiple-space wet/dry (3) and used as the basis for most of the studies. Feeders that provided less than 34 cm of feeding width resulted in crowding with market weight pigs. However, feeding spaces wider than 39 cm increased the frequency of two small pigs eating
simultaneously. Side panels more than 34 cm long provided better protection to pigs while eating, reducing the frequency of displacements from the side. Small pigs frequently stepped into feeders which were more than 27 em deep (lip to feed), and those from which pigs ate from an angled body position.

The feeders were evaluated for their effects on production traits- average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency and carcass quality – of grower/finisher pigs. Each model was used by 4 pens of 12 pigs in 12-wk trials under an incomplete block balanced design. ADG and ADFI were 5% greater with wet/dry feeders than with dry (P<0.05). The effect of wet/dry feeders on growth was only evident during the final 8 wk of the trial (P<0.05). ADFI tended to be higher with wet/dry feeders throughout the trial (P<0.05). Pigs using single and multiple space feeders did not differ in either gain or intake during any of the trial periods (P>0.05). Feed efficiency did not differ among feeder classes. Dry feeders yielded a slightly higher ( 1 %) lean percentage of carcass than did wet/dry feeders (P<0.05).

During the production study, the pigs were videotaped and their eating behaviour analyzed. The total duration of eating varied from less than 75 to over 115 min/day per pig. and the number of displacements (entrances) from less than 30 to over 80 per pig per day. on the different feeders. Large pigs spent less time eating than did small pigs, but spent longer in the feeder per entrance Wet/dry feeders also resulted
in reduced eating time. with an increase in eating speed of approximately 25% compared to dry feeders. Pigs spent less time eating from single space feeders than from multiple space feeders, but this was associated with shorter durations per entrance into the feeder. The combined effects of single space and dry features in a feeder resulted in an average feeder occupancy rate in excess of 80%. which would be higher still for small pigs.

All models were within the range for a feed spillage rate of 2-5.8% of offered feed. The size of pig had an effect on feed wastage. Although large and small pigs spilled the same absolute amount of feed, spillage as a percentage of feed disappearance was greater for small (4.4%) compared to large (2.4%) pigs. Leavage within the feeder was greater for large than for small pigs. The differences between feeder categories (dry vs. wet/dry, single vs. multiple space) were not statistically detectable. The occurrence of feed spillage due to eating, fighting and stepping into feeder was affected by the size of pig (P<0.05).

Two tests were conducted to study the eating speed of grower/finisher pigs. In the first test, hungry pigs were allowed access to each model for a set period of time. Although no differences among feeder categories (dry vs. wet/dry; single vs. multiple space} were detected for eating speed in this test, large pigs ate faster than small ones (P < 0.05) and lever-operated feeders resulted in a lower eating speed than non-lever feeders (P < 0.05). The second test compared eating speeds of pigs fed a fixed amount of either premixed wet feed or dry mash feed. Pigs on premixed wet feed ate about 3 times faster than ‘did those on dry feed (P < 0.05).

Five ergonomic studies were conducted using a specially designed feeder on which the lip height, feeder depth (front to back), width, and feeding shelf height could be adjusted. Pigs were tested at various weights from 22 to 96 kg. The effects of pig size, feeder depth and lip height on the incidence of pigs stepping into the feeder was evaluated. Within the constraints of the experimental design, with limits placed on feeder depth and lip height, small pigs stepped into the feeder more often. The most significant design feature of the feeder for this behaviour was feeder depth. Stepping in was more common as feeder depth was increased, but the point at which it began varied with the size of pig. Grower pigs stepped into a feeder with a depth of 20 em, but large pigs did not do so until the depth was 30 em or more. Lip height had only a minor influence on stepping-in, and only at critical depths that depended upon pig weight. The distance from the toe of the pig to its snout increased with pig weight and was similar to the feeder depths resulting in the lowest frequency of stepping-in. A final factor related to feeder dimensions is the restriction the feeder lip places on accessing feed at the front of the feeder. This restriction decreases as pigs grow, but should be accommodated in feeder design by providing a slope behind the lip of the feeder.

Two studies examined the angles of the body and head while pigs ate. Pigs prefer to stand at an angle of approximately 30° to the feed access, but in restrictive feeders will turn their heads to obtain some angled approach. Pigs also rotate their heads approximately 45-55″ while eating to improve access to the feed.

GrowerFinisher Feeders – Design, behaviour and performance

Better Understanding the Pig’s Perception of Space

Posted in: Economics, Pork Insight Articles, Production, Welfare by PSCI on July 13, 2017 | No Comments

This presentation describes the decision basis for floor space allowance  in terms of behaviour, production and economics. There must be enough space to prevent stress from overcrowding (a subjective issue) as well as enough space to maintain maximum growth while still striving for the greatest production per unit of area. This presentation also discusses different guidelines for space including stall size and eating spaces.

Better Understanding the Pig’s perception of space

New approaches for controlling PMWS and PCV2 associated diseases

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PCV2 is a global phenomenon, this presentation outlines several methods of preventing infection and suppressing the disease in pigs. Controlling immune stimulation and vaccination with a subclinical infection may enhance systemic dissemination while at the point of this presentation (2006) there were 4 vaccines under development and 2 registered for emergency use. There are currently (2006) no drugs specifically effective for treating the disease and so as usual with these types of cofactor diseases good management practices and limiting the environmental strain on pigs is the most effective form of prevention.

New approaches for controlling PMWS and PCV2 associated diseases

PCV2 in Swine Herds – New Trends

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PCV2 is economically important with an estimated 3% of mortality being attributed to PCV2 in farrow to finish operations.

  • In an average market of $1.45/kg OW, 1 extra%mortality costs $34.87 per sow per year
  • In a high market of $1.75/kg OW, 1 extra% mortality costs $44.79 per sow per year
  • In a low market of $1.15/kg OW, 1 extra% mortality costs $24.80 per sow per year

This presentation outlines the clinical manifestations of PCV2 and methods for prevention.

PCV2 in Swine Herds – New trends

Large Pen Auto Sort A Producers View

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Hufco discusses the differences between fast system sorting and pro sorter scales as well as elaborating on the maxpro remote management system.

Large Pen auto sort, a producers view

Some Thoughts on Large Group Systems and Sorting

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Large group housing is being looked at more in order to reduce costs. Conventional wisdom says that larger group should have poorer performance, increased weight variation and an increase in vices. However, the reality is that there is a slight depression in growth especially during the first week but it is only around 1-2% and that there is no increase in variation, vices or health problems.

Some Thoughts on Large group system and sorting

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