How Could Prop 12 Drive Choices?

Podcasts are a perfect way to get caught up with new swine information! We are presenting you the latest episode from “At The Meeting… Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison” in collaboration with SwineCast.

This episode shares insight from Rabo Bank’s Christine McCracken on California’s Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, also known as Prop 12. Producing pork is already complex and, if California’s Prop 12 initiative is implemented, it will force producers to choose which market segment they wish to serve.

Continue reading “How Could Prop 12 Drive Choices?”

Vet Student Attitudes about Swine Change after Lecture and Farm Visit

In this new publication from the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, Dr. Perle Zhitnitskiy from the UMN swine group, in collaboration with Dr. Beth Ventura explores the impact that various educational initiatives have on first-year veterinary students attitudes towards swine production.

Key Points

  • First-year students undergo 1-hour lecture and one farm visit in their first year of the curriculum.
  • Knowledge and attitudes towards pigs improved after the educational initiatives.
  • Students became more segmented in their overall view of swine production.
  • Provision of enrichment did not increase students’ satisfaction with the level of animal welfare on the farm.
Continue reading “Vet Student Attitudes about Swine Change after Lecture and Farm Visit”

Impact of increasing age on pig performance and belly nosing prevalence in a commercial multisite production system

Today, we share last week Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

Dr. Jamil E. G. Facci –Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)- and colleagues evaluate the relationship between current commercial weaning ages and post-weaning resilience to stress. In relation to this topic and for further details, visit the full work published in the Journal of Animal Science.

Key Points

  • Increasing weaning age has an impact on pig production metrics and behavioral indicators.
  • Examining decisions about weaning age is important in today’s global scenario of antibiotic reduction and increased welfare concerns.
  • The reduction of removal and mortality during the nursery phase is an important impact of increased weaning age.
Continue reading “Impact of increasing age on pig performance and belly nosing prevalence in a commercial multisite production system”

What do US producers and veterinarians think about antibiotic-free production?

This recent open-access publication in Frontiers expends beyond the realm of swine production and raises the question raising animals without using antibiotics. Dr. Singer from the University of Minnesota in collaboration with multiple other institutions surveyed US producers and veterinarians to gather their thoughts on the topic.

Continue reading “What do US producers and veterinarians think about antibiotic-free production?”

Science Page: Docking the tail or not: Effect on tail damage, skin lesions and growth performance

Pig tail
Credit: Jon Olav Eikenes

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

This week,  we are sharing a report by Dr. Yuzhi Li regarding the effects of tail docking in pigs.

Key points:

  • Many swine producers have been looking for an alternative to tail docking since it is a painful procedure for pigs.
  • A study examining welfare and performance of pigs with docked and undocked tails was performed
  • Performance was unaffected by tail docking, and it reduced incidence of tail damage

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of tail docking on welfare and performance of growing-finishing pigs. Pigs, including 120 pigs that were tail-docked at birth and 120 pigs that remained with intact tails were used. Pigs were housed in 8 pens of 30 pigs in a
confinement barn for 16 weeks, with 4 pens each housing pigs of both sexes with docked or intact tails.

Results indicate that tail docking did not affect daily gain, feed intake, gain to feed ratio. During the study period, 5% of docked pigs were removed from their home pen due to tail damage, compared to 21% of intact pigs were removed for reasons associated with tail biting or tail damage. Consequently, 97% of docked pigs and 90% of intact pigs were sold for full value.

This study suggests that tail docking did not affect growth performance of pigs or eliminate occurrence of tail biting, but it reduced the incidence of
tail damage in pigs housed in a confinement system.

For more details, take a look at the full results table.