Keep your swine production moving this winter

This year we are looking at a very cold winter reaching into the high minuses in a lot of areas, therefore it is important to keep in mind the effect this will have on your animals.

The most affected animal in a piggery is the piglets, as they go through an immense amount of stress in a very short period of time. They’re not only going through peak growth curves where their body weight increases and their gut doubles in length, but are also under massive amounts of environmental stress.

When a piglet is with its mother, the comfort temperature of that piglet is around 32°C. When the piglets are moved out of lactation into the nursery, this is usually done early in the morning and they are moved to a house that is either a controlled house of 28°C or outside in a naturally ventilated house in which the temperature is based on the environment. To summarize, the stress the piglet goes under is a massive temperature change, feed change, environmental change, hierarchy change and physiological growth change, all causing stress.

Due to the stress mentioned, this leads to a vulnerability to opportunistic pathogens, an increase in diarrhea and a decrease in gut health, which will lead to a drop in performance parameters, such as: feed intake, feed utilization, growth rate, health, and thus the economic profit will decrease.

Bactefort® is a broad spectrum fast-acting antibiotic that contains oxytetracycline. This antibiotic will eliminate any pathogens, gram-positive or gram-negative, that will affect the piglets and should be implemented a day after they arrive at their new location either by the feed they are given or in the water supply.

Stress Care L® aims at replenishing the vitamins and minerals that are lost during stressful periods as well as improving the gut health of the piglet with probiotics. Ensuring good gut health will help the piglet’s growth and feed utilization throughout its life on the farm. It combats the stress the piglet goes through and ensures that the piglet remains healthy well into its adult life.

Casey Flanagan
BAH- Swine Specialist