Some Audits are a Good Thing…Really!
An audit was completed in 2017 on best management practices in Canadian swine barns. Results show areas for possible improvements in biosecurity, personal protection and training, washing procedures and gestation housing systems. Many of the participating farms had biosecurity protocols like showering in and out of the barn and restricting animal sources to one supplier. An area for improvement was updating the visitor registry and implementing proper biosecurity signage. While many barns have hydrogen sulphide monitors, dust masks and hearing protection, hydrogen sulphide training needs to occur for all staff members. Water wastage increases costs and practices like pre-soaking rooms before washing is commonly done and somewhat unnecessary, depending on floor type. Conventional nozzles should be used for power washing to decrease washing time and water consumption as well. Some of the barns had already switched to group sow housing, with the majority installing non-competitive feeding systems like free-access or electronic sow feeding systems. The main reason was to have data collected to help with herd management. Competitive feeding systems save conversion costs so some chose that as well. Groups were created at the proper times in all cases with group formation occurring before day 7 or after day 28 post-insemination. Most of the barns with group sow housing also installed proper enrichment objects, ensuring the sows are productive and happy.
Some Audits are a Good Thing…Really! (full article)