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:

Genomics and Swine Health -Banff 2016

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production, Uncategorized by PSCI on May 5, 2017 | No Comments

The Genome Canada project was launched in 2010. Its goal was to identify genetic markers associated with animals performing well when exposed to disease in order to improve swine health.

Researchers aimed to provide new diagnostic tools for selecting pigs that are genetically less susceptible to PRRS and PCVAD. They found several phenotypic factors and immune response mediators associated with viremia, weight gain and fetal outcomes, as well as litter size and reproductive performance. Consistent results within disease models were found, however the results appear to be disease specific.

Certain pigs were found to be disease resilient, being able to maintain their performance despite being infected. How pigs react to disease can be identified in a blood sample and used to select for resilience. The next generation of studies will seek to establish whether developing more resilient pigs is possible.

Genomics and Swine Health -Banff 2016

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Animal Welfare and Public Perceptions -Banff 2016

Posted in: Uncategorized by PSCI on May 3, 2017 | No Comments

Dr. Temple Grandin gave a speech regarding transparency and communication with younger generations specifically millennials who have grown up in the age of technology.

“A significant portion of consumers lack a basic knowledge of animals and agriculture. Programs have been developed that allow producers to communicate directly with consumers. The pork industry needs to create similar programs.”

She lists several ways pork producers can open up lines of communications with consumers, including live-streaming, public tours and social media.

“The older generation absolutely must reach out to the younger generation, says Grandin. “I am proud of the things I have done to improve animal agriculture. There are practices in animal agriculture that need to be improved and there are others that absolutely need to be defended…
…Fighting over sow stalls is likely not worth it.”

Animal Welfare and Public Perceptions -Banff 2016

Immune stimulation increases amino acid requirements in nursery pigs fed antibiotic-free starter diets- B.Jayaraman and C.M.Nyachoti 2017

Posted in: Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Uncategorized by PSCI on May 2, 2017 | No Comments

The Swine Nutrition Program at the University of Manitoba recently concluded a series of trials to determine the optimal SID Trp:Lys and SID Thr:Lys ratios for weaned pigs fed Antimicrobial growth promoters (AGP)-free starter diets and subjected to immunological challenge. Sanitation and Escherichia coli K88 (E. coli K88) models were used to challenge the weaned piglets.

The NRC (2012) recommends a diet with a SID Trp:Lys of 16 per cent and a SID Thr:Lys of 59 per cent, for pigs between seven and 25 kg, but this does not consider the health status of pigs. These values are derived from different studies in piglets fed diets containing AGP and so may have different values for pigs raised on a AGP-free diet.

This study concluded that weaned piglets raised under sub-optimal sanitary conditions and fed AGP-free diets need higher dietary threonine:lysine and tryptophan:lysine requirements than the NRC (2012) recommendations. Ensuring adequate amino acids in AGP-free starter diets will aid in maintaining good performance under unfavorable health conditions.

Immune stimulation increases amino acid requirements in nursery pigs fed antibiotic-free starter diets- B.Jayaraman and C.M.Nyachoti 2017

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Posted in: Uncategorized by PSCI on April 6, 2017 | No Comments

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Posted in: Uncategorized by PSCI on March 23, 2017 | No Comments

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In High Health Situations Antibiotics may not be Necessary

Posted in: Uncategorized by PSCI on February 7, 2017 | No Comments

Weaning is a stressful time in a piglet’s life. During this time, they are exposed to three major stressors (nutritional, environmental and social). Combined, these can activate the immune response in the piglet, which in turn can have negative impacts on animal performance immediately post-weaning (low or no feed intake, reduced or negative growth rates). In order to help combat the stress/immune response at the time of weaning, piglets are often fed a diet containing a low level of antibiotics. This helps the piglets cope with any potential secondary infections which may be contracted while their immune system is vulnerable.


In April 2015, Health Canada announced that the use of in-feed antibiotics will be phased out over the next three years. Health Canada’s measures are dedicated to strengthening regulation and encourage prudent use of anti-microbial drugs used in food-producing animals, particularly drugs considered medically important.  To date Health Canada has being working with the pharmaceutical industry in phasing out all growth promotion claims related to medically important drugs by December 2016.


Finding alternate strategies to help piglets cope at the time of weaning is important, and nutritional modulation for this purpose is a growing area of interest.

Flaxseed is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to have many different health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3’s can be easily transferred to piglets via the milk when sows are fed diets containing a good quality source. Additionally, changing the fatty acid profile of sow diets by adding omega-3’s can impact the inflammatory responses of their offspring. Perhaps by improving the health of piglets prior to weaning, through nutritional modulation of the sow, it might be possible to remove antibiotics from nursery diets.


Trial set up

A total of 103 sows were used for this trial, 52 weaned at four weeks of age and 51 at three weeks of age. Within each weaning group, sows were fed one of two diets (control or with omega-3) throughout lactation. At the time of weaning, ten piglets from each litter were selected, moved to the nursery and housed in two groups of five piglets each (two nursery pens per litter). One half of the litter (1 pen) was fed a starter diet containing antibiotics (LS20, 0.1%), and the other half received the same diet without antibiotics. After one week, all piglets were switched to a common phase 2 diet for the remainder of the study.


Due to the high health status of the facility, prior to weaning nurseries skipped a single was cycle in order to create a health challenge;ensuring each weaning cohort was immunologically challenged. Regardless of weaning age, all piglets completed the trial at 56 days of age. Piglet performance was determined in both the farrowing and nursery rooms. Sow milk was collected during mid-lactation to determine the fatty acid profile of the mile being consumed by piglets. Piglet health was monitored by collecting blood for complete blood cell count (CBC) and chemistry blood panels two days post-weaning. A total of 1,181 piglets completed the lactation portion of the trial. Of those, 1,021 piglets were used for the nursery portion.


Results and discussion

There were no dietary effects (± omega-3 fatty acids) on sow feed intake, numbers of piglets born, piglet growth or on the number of piglets weaned per litter. As expected, sows fed a diet with added omega-3 fatty acids had significantly more omega-3’s in their milk relative to control sows (5:1 vs. 8:1 n-6:n-3 ratio).

In the nursery, there was no impact of sow diet on average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), feed conversion ratio (G:F) or final body weight for piglets weaned at three or four weeks of age. For piglets weaned at three weeks of age, ADFI was 20 g/d higher during the fourth week in the nursery for piglets who received no antibiotics in their phase 1 diet; however, ADG and feed conversion ratio were not affected. Feed intake was not affected during any of the other weeks on trial for these piglets. For piglets weaned at four weeks of age, ADG tended to be greater in piglets fed diets with antibiotics for week 1 of the trial, which also lead to improved feed conversion ratios during that week.

Growth and feed conversion ratio were unaffected by the inclusion of antibiotics from weeks 2 to 4 in the nursery. Feed intake tended to be higher in antibiotics fed piglets during week 3, and was significantly higher in week 4 relative to piglets who received no antibiotics in the first week post-weaning (930 g/d vs. 900 g/d); however this did not impact grower-finisher. The research team observed no dietary effects (sow diet or nursery diet) on the final body weight of piglets at nursery exit; however, regardless of dietary treatment, piglets weaned at three weeks of age were roughly 1.5 kg heavier than those weaned at four weeks.

No effects were found due to either sow or phase 1 diet on any of the blood measures taken when piglets were weaned at three weeks of age. When piglets were weaned at four weeks of age, piglets weaned from sows fed diets containing omega-3 fatty acids had lower white blood cell counts relative to those weaned from sows fed the control diet. White cell counts were unaffected by phase 1 diet, and neither sow nor phase 1 diet affected any of the other blood parameters measured.



The hypothesis of this trial was – feeding omega 3 fatty acids to sows in the form of flaxseed would allow for the removal of antibiotics in starter feeds.  Based on results from this trial, we can neither accept nor reject this hypothesis, as we found that in our high health herd, antibiotics had no post weaning benefit.

Enrichment for sows

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Uncategorized by PSCI on August 11, 2016 | No Comments

Author: Victoria Kyeiwaa

Reference: Western Hog Journal Summer 2016

Enrichments are known to be beneficial to piglets and young pigs, reducing aggression, fear, behavioural vices and increasing growth. However, it is not known if this data can translate to sows because older pigs show different behaviours. This study aims to discover the most effective type of enrichment for gestating sows.

Four treatments will be provided: rope, small amounts of straw, wood on chains, and a control where no enrichment is provided. Because pigs are social animals and their social status can influence enrichment use, the effects of social status will also be examined. Social status is determined in a feed competition trial whereby six focal sows – three dominants and three subordinates – are selected for additional data collection. Mostly, in a social environment, subordinate animals are being bullied and driven away from available resources by dominant ones. Dominant and subordinate sows are selected in this study to determine if all sows, irrespective of social status, will benefit from enrichment use. Sows can lose interest in enrichments over time. Rotations of enrichments will be done to determine if this can generate more interest as opposed to a constant enrichment.

Cameras are mounted over the pens and time lapse photos taken on selected days to determine the level of enrichment use, and the activities and postures of sows. Stereotypic behaviours are recorded by live observation of sows, and levels of aggression are determined using skin lesion scores, ranging from 0 (no injury) to 3 (severe injury) on both sides of the body. Accelerometers are used as automated measuring tools to record the mobility of animals, similar to pedometers used to record fitness activities in people. Accelerometers are being used in this research to compare the activity levels of dominant and subordinate sows. Saliva samples are also taken in early, mid- and end of each trial to determine cortisol levels as a measure of stress.

Sow enrichment Kyeiwaa

IS Climatic Change REAL Or Even A Delusion

Posted in: Uncategorized by PSCI on July 21, 2016 | No Comments

IS Climatic Change REAL Or Even A Delusion

Climatic change can be explained as an increase of Earth’s average hot and cold temperature attributable to excessive warmth stuck by greenhouse toxic gases e.g. fractional co2 and sulphur dioxide gasoline. The theory of existence of climatic change was first invented by Svante Arrhenius, (1859-1927) in 1896. He designed the concept that too much concentration of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could raise the temperature of The earth by 5 Celsius. Over a period of time, quite a few research workers have improved upon on the hypothesis throughout completing various medical scientific studies. These experts firmly reason that climate change is legitimate and is particularly developing, even so, there are numerous explanations and proves which imply that climatic change might just be a delusion, deception plus a scheme made and spread out by folks for self aggrandizement.financial analyst resume skills Among the good reasons which can make climate change way of thinking in question are showcased below.

First off, an upswing in hot and cold temperature which some analysts reason that it imply the presence of climate change could very well be assigned to normal phenomena which mankind do not have guide power over them. These phenomena are considered the one responsible for the weather shifts which occured through ice years of age interval several millenniums in the past. Next, rise in temp may be a temperature issue as opposed to a weather issue and therefore are likely to be capricious.

Furthermore, ever since 1997, there have not ever been any weather alters where global warming is concerned. In the last seventeen years and years, the temperature of the environment The planet is basically invariable. As a result, it actually is common sense to conclude that climatic change can not be in existence when there is no genuine ‘global warming’. Also, our planet is cooling down from 1940 to 1975 previous to a surge in heat range involving 1975 and 1997. This undoubtedly reveals that the weather style in excess of the last few years have not been pursuing any special obtain. Predictions on global warming are whether over-stated or are derived from personal intuition in lieu of clinical establishes. As an example, former vice president of United states; Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. expected that each one of ice cubes from the Arctic can be removed by 2013. Some other doom prophecy dependant upon climate change was made by an environmentalist Nigel Calder in 1965 warning the fact that the entire world is keying in another time period of ice era. He journeyed onward to suggest that implications of global warming might possibly be basically like those of nuclear battle. Little is different considering that he presented out that assertion.

Yet another puzzling hypothesis provided by researchers is as a result of additional heat to be blanketed by fractional co2 within the atmosphere, both equally north and the southern area of hemisphere s are melting. They believe that because of this, seas, lakes and rivers will deluge triggering miseries to either mankind and dogs and cats. They even more declare that as a result of somewhat superior temperatures melting the ice cubes (00 Celsius), a large amount of high heat will likely be taken in in the sunshine. This will cause the earth experiencing a pandemic of icy. This looks illogical since if ever the melting ice-cubes is taking in large amount of heat out of the direct sun light, you will have wintry. This cold prevents further more ice cubes from melting hence the series will easily ends. This principle offers a vicious state of affairs that contain no outside disturbance. Medically, this is certainly impossible.

Researchers suggest that existence of climate change is majorly due to fun-based activities of individuals e.g. extra fractional co2 released towards the mood throughout burning off of oils, coals along with other pure make a difference. A question which happens is if the degree of green house unwanted gas in previous days was unimportant. The veracity of the problem is often that volcanoes that have been going on as the ice-cubes age results in large number of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Will it really mean this could certainly not reason global warming? A large number of researchers will produce practices which support or oppose presence of climatic change. Many notions are at this point being developed. Some will use diverse all natural phenomena to sightless folks that global warming is real. Just before recognizing these cheaper and untrustworthy ideas, one should spend some time to issue validity of them practices. Except in cases where more influential purposes are designed to substantiate that climate change takes location, fact continues to be that there is nothing genuinely taking effect. Only time will establish if not.

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Posted in: Uncategorized by PSCI on June 14, 2016 | No Comments

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