The 2TS Focus on Finishing conferences are well underway this week. One of the speakers, Yolande Seddon, is a research fellow at the Canadian Prairie Swine Centre and has highlighted the problem of subclinical disease: it can’t actually be seen and yet it can cause considerable growth losses in the finishing herd.
BUT, the good news is there is a lot that can be done (and at a low cost) to reduce the impact of subclinical disease.
Monitoring water consumption, using simple health scores – like recording the amount of coughing – and weighing pigs regularly can all identify trends.
Weighing pigs is definitely worth the time, as it targets where to make changes which can, ultimately, mean less overall effort for greater results. So, if producers are to start doing just one new thing straight away, then biting the bullet and weighing some pigs is what Yolande suggests!
Yolande also spoke about exciting work with the team at the University of Newcastle, measuring immune proteins in pig saliva to help spot subclinical disease.
Saliva was collected by providing pigs with ropes to chew on – much easier and cheaper than blood sampling. The concentrations of immune proteins in saliva samples were related to reductions in pig growth.
Researchers at Newcastleand AHVLA are continuing this work so that, soon, saliva sampling could offer a low-cost disease surveillance method.
Click here to read more in Yolande’s full presentation.
at 26 Oct 2012, 10:26 AM