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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine JOHN CARR


The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine

 Three-site production: a system where pigs are reared on three

separate farms - classically gestation and farrowing on one farm/site, nursery on another and grow/finish on a third site.  Two-site production: a system where pigs are reared on two

separate farms. Classically two forms: a) Gestation, farrowing and nursery on one farm/site and the grower/finisher on another farm/site. b) Gestation and farrowing on one farm and wean-to-finish on another.  Some variations in gestation housing: crates/stalls, ESF

(Electronic Sow Feeding), trickle feeding (feeding small amounts over a short period of time), outdoor (housed outside in arcs).

Some basic facts:  Age at breeding: for a gilt, 220 days; for a boar, about 7 months.  Oestrus cycle: 18-24 days - three weeks.  Gestation: 115 days - three months, three weeks and three days.  Breeding season: generally none - poorer in the summer and early

autumn.  Slaughter weight: about 114 kg (250-280 lbs) at about 26 weeks

of age.

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1   General

Stockmanship. The basics Take time to scratch their ears There is nothing more important that a stockperson can do than simply go out and look and listen to the pigs. Early in the morning and late in the day (around sunrise and sunset) are excellent times to take a really hard look at the animals under your care. Seeing the pigs well fed and content at the end of the day can take the edge of all the aches and pains of the day.

Remember There is not one pig producer who is caught up with all the chores, there is always something else to do. But do not let the job get in the way of caring for the pigs themselves.

Take time to care for them.

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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine

Breeds of pigs. Introduction White Colour Flopped ears, roman nose

Landrace

Red Colour Flopped ears, roman nose

Duroc

Belted Colour Flopped ears, roman nose

Saddleback

Other pigs All black, flopped ears, roman nose

Large Black

Photographs courtesy of Carlos Sañudo Astiz. Atlas Mundial de Etnología Zootécnica. Ed. Servet 16

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1   General

Pointed ears, dished face

Large White/Yorkshire

Pointed ears, dished face

Tamworth

Pointed ears, dished face

Hampshire

6 white points, pointed ears, dished face

Berkshire

There are hundreds of breeds –most in China– where most of the world’s pigs live.

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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine

Haematology, biochemistry, temperature, urine and semen Blood volume = 61-68 ml/kg Chromosome number = 38 Ventilation pressure = 18-22 cm H20 Respiration rate = 12-15 breaths/min Tidal volume = 5-10 ml/kg

HAEMATOLOGY Unit

Weaner

Feeder

Sow

g/l

90-140

100-150

100-170

Haematocrit

L/L

0.26-0.41

0.29-0.42

0.29-0.46

Erythrocytes

x1012/l

5.3-8.0

5.7-8.3

5.1-8.0

MCV

fL

42-62

44-56

52-63

MCH

pg

14-21

15-20

18-22

MCHC

g/l

320-360

320-380

340-380

Leucocytes

x109/l

8.7-37.9

11.6-32.9

10.6-24.0

Lymphocytes

x109/l

2.2-16.0

3.6-18.5

3.7-14.7

Eosinophils

x109/l

0-1.8

0-2.5

0-2.4

Basophils

x10 /l

0-0.5

0-0.7

0-0.5

Monocytes

x109/l

0-6

0-4.9

0-2.4

Haemoglobin

9

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1   General

Serum biochemistry Parameter

SI Unit

yGT

IU/l

A/G

g/g

US

Weaner

Finisher

Adult 41-86

0.5-2.2

0.4-1.5

0.6-1.3

Albumin

g/l

19-39

19-42

31-43

Alk. phos.

IU/l

142-891

180-813

36-272

ALT

IU/l

8-46

15-46

19-76

Amylase

IU/l

528-2,616

913-4,626

432-2,170

Anion gap

mmol/l

AST

IU/l

Bicarbonate

mmol/l

Bilirubin

µmol/l

Calcium

mmol/l

Chloride

mmol/l

Cholesterol

mmol/l

CK

7.5-36 21-94

16-67

36-272

x 60

0.9-3.4

0-3.4

0-3.4

x4

2.02-3.21

2.16-2.92

1.98-2.87

8-31

96-111 x 39

IU/l

1.06-3.32

1.37-3.18

1.24-2.74

81-1,586

61-1,251

120-10,990

Conj. bilirub.

mmol/l

x 60

0.9-3.4

0-1.7

0-1.7

Creatinine

µmol/l

/88

67-172

77-165

110-260

0-3.4

0-3.4

Fibrinogen

g/l

Free bilirub.

µmol/l

x 60

160-380 x 18

0-3.4

Glucose

mmol/l

3.5-7.4

4.0-8.1

2.9-5.9

GSHPx

IU/gHb

30-137

48-135

IgG piglet blood

mg/ml

25-35

40-141 < 10

Iron

µmol/l

x 5.59

LDH

mmol/l

x9

Magnesium

mmol/l

Pepsinogen

ng/ml

Phosphorus

mmol/l

3-38

concern 39-43

9-34 0-11 0.5-1.2

x 3.1

149-313

230-570

1.46-3.45

2.25-3.44

1.49-2.76

Potassium

mmol/l

x 3.9

3.5-4.8

Sodium

mmol/l

x 2.3

132-170

Total protein

g/l

Triglyceride

mmol/l

x 89

UIBC

mmol/l

x 2.8

Urea nitrogen

mmol/l

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44-74

52-83

65-90 0.2-0.5

43-96

48-101

54-99

2.90-8.89

2.57-8.57

2.10-8.50

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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine

Threats to a pig unit The number one threat to a pig unit is any sick pig currently in the unit, so we must always ensure a good management of the hospital pen. These threats are, in order of importance, the following (though the order can change depen­ding on many circumstances): • Other pigs. • Pork products (ham, salami, sausage, pizza). • Knackerman (placement of dead pig disposal area). • Transportation systems. • Locality of neighbouring pig units. • Presence of a major road. • Purchased second-hand equipment. • Clothing from another unit. • Birds, rodents, cats, dogs, flies. • Artificial insemination and embryo transfer. • Feed and water. • Bedding and straw.

!

Ensure a known source of manure for straw.

• Staff owning their own pigs. • Staff visiting pig markets, shows, other pig units and slaughter-

houses. • Veterinary surgeons and other pig advisors. • Visitors.

!

Electricity and gas service people should be very careful.

• New utensils. • Medicines, live vaccines.

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2   Biosecurity

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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine

Pressure washing Preparation 1 Remove all the animals from the building. 2 Ideally all feed should have been eaten by the previous occupants.

Remove all feed by bag and remove it from the room. 3 Dismantle as many movable objects and remove them from the

room. 4 Isolate all electrics. Ideally, all electrics should be encased in a

wooden box within the room. Comply with current Health and Safety Recommendations.

Pre-cleaning 1 Turn off the water supply that goes into the header tank. 2 Remove the end drinker and drain water supply. 3 Remove accumulations of dirt from the header tank. 4 Re-fit the end drinker. Refill the header tank with water and add

disinfectant. 5 The dung channels should be drained and emptied. This should

include all large faecal accumulations, tanks and gullies. 6 All old or blistered paint work on animal housing, i.e. a crate or

stall, should be smoothed down with a wire brush. 7 Remove all cobwebs by brushing and all other material either into

the slats or pick them up using a shovel. 8 Repair any broken pieces of equipment/housing. 9 Place a garden sprinkler in the centre of the room, attached to an

external water supply, close doors and soak room for 1 hour. Note any problem with the electrics, etc., that may arise. If soaking is not possible, move to the next section.

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2   Biosecurity

Cleaning of all removable objects 1 All removed drinkers and feed troughs should be cleaned out

thoroughly so that all food and faecal material are removed. 2 All removed items should be soaked with water for 5 minutes. 3 Spray detergent using low pressure washing (300 psi) or a foam

gun applicator at a concentration of 2 %. 4 Allow detergent contact time of 30 minutes, do not allow surfaces

to dry. 5 Thoroughly wash down with a pressure washer at 500 psi. 6 All creep light fittings should be thoroughly cleaned. Beware that

bulbs may blow if they are hot and water is splashed on them. 7 Disinfect all utensils by soaking in disinfectant for 1 hour if possible,

otherwise apply disinfectant using a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer at 300 psi. 8 Allow all utensils time to thoroughly dry.

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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine

Unit security Entry and exit procedures for livestock:

ON FARM

OFF FARM

Security fence with pig creep gate

Off-farm ramp, 5ยบ slope, away from unit

Gate Gate

Drain away from farm Sorting area Pressure washing point

Raised ramp

The washing area should include: water source, dairy brush, yard brush and disinfection point.

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2   Biosecurity

Loading ramp rules 1 Trucks must have no pigs on board, must be clean, washed and

disinfected. 2 The off-farm disinfectant/washing area must be prepared prior to

each loading by the unit staff (wearing off-unit clothing), and then they must re-enter the farm. 3 The truck driver must inform a member of staff using the klaxon

horn upon arrival. 4 The truck drivers must wash their hands and wear the over-boots

provided and dip the boots in the disinfectant provided. 5 The truck driver’s name and vehicle number should be logged in

the animal movement book. 6 Farm staff must not cross the security fence line or the loading

ramp. 7 The loading ramp area must be thoroughly cleaned after loading

each batch of pigs. 8 The truck driver must not enter the unit, under the security

fencing onto the on-farm ramp, to assist the loading. 9 All entry and exit points should be well lit, ideally with proximity

sensors. 10 The sorting area and on-farm loading area must be thoroughly

cleaned and disinfected once the pigs have arrived or left.

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The basic stockmanship guide: Pigs, Hogs and Swine  

This guide is presented as a series of advice sheets, some of which can be used around the farm, that provide rapid information in a format...

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