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Volume 8, August 2019

Creep Feeding in the Farrowing Room: Do the Outcomes Depend on Weaning Age?

Piglets Under Heat Lamp 

Creep feed could benefit older weaned piglets by supplementing nutrients in sows’ milk. Additionally, it could aid the transition to solid feed at weaning, perhaps more of a benefit to the younger weaned piglet. In our experiment, body weight at nursery exit was greater in piglets offered creep feed for one week prior to weaning, regardless of weaning age (3 vs 4 wk weaning). However, less than 4 % of the piglets weaned at 3 weeks of age showed evidence of creep feed consumption.


Practical Environmental Enrichment Strategies for Piglets

Piglet enrichment 

Pigs are intelligent and curious from birth, and the lactation and nursery periods are critical for their mental and  physical development. Despite this, research  on suitable enrichments for piglets is lacking. Research that has been done found that piglets  given enrichment had increased play and exploratory behaviours and decreased aggression, tail-biting, and belly-nosing. There is also some evidence of improved growth and meat quality when pigs are given enrichment, so there is potential for enrichment to benefit production as well as welfare.


Practical Alternatives for Castration


The Canadian Code of Practice requires that swine producers provide analgesics to piglets at castration to help control post-procedural pain. However, complete information on the different analgesics available to control post-procedural pain, their effectiveness and optimized procedures for delivering pain control have not been identified. This project set out to identify which analgesics provide effective pain relief to piglets, at what age castration should be performed to minimize stress and production losses, and to determine how the timing of drug administration affects piglets’ pain responses following castration.


Development of a Commercial Scale Air Treatment System

An air cleaning technology based on biotrickling filtration developed in previous phases of the project was scaled up  and tested at the PSC swine grower-finisher facility. Results showed that the air treatment units were effective in reducing the levels of ammonia, dust, and odour from the air stream at the exhaust of the grow-finish rooms by about 77%, 92%, and…


Group Sow Housing Feeding Systems - Decision Tree


Determining which group housing system to use can be a daunting task. There are multiple systems to chose from, and no hard rules to follow. This decision tree provides a rough guide based on key questions you need to ask yourself.


Coming Events

Alberta Livestock Expo - October 9 & 10, 2019 - Lethbridge Alberta

Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop - October 23, 2019 - Red Deer, Alberta (program will be posted at a later date, please mark your calendars)

Supporting Agencies