pig production

Dr. Kyle Coble - Introduction: How Do We Define Wean Age


Introduction: How Do We Define Wean Age - Dr. Kyle Coble, from the 2017 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, September 16-19, 2017, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Pig Production, Will Rogers & Sacred Cows

Will Rogers once said, "it's not what we don't know that gets us into trouble, it's what we know that just ain't so!".  Some of the things we "know" in pig production fail the test of time and  turn out to "just not be so".  Unfortunately, we allow some of these things to turn into "sacred cows" - a term drawn from the inviolability of the cow in the Hindu religion and used in reference to a person or thing unreasonably held to be immune from questioning or criticism.  Here is a partial list of some sacred cows that have been exposed as either nonessential or perhaps even detrimental to efficient pig production:  washing sows, clipping needle teeth, creep feeding (necessary, not necessary, depends on age at weaning), fostering pigs to "even-up" litters, re-sorting of pigs in nurseries and finishers, "douching" sows, blanket "farrowing shots" to sows, obsessing over pigs per crate per year, "hot" nurseries, 12-day weaning - just to list a few.  How many "sacred cows" in pig production can you think of that have arisen then passed from the scene in the past 25 years?  Which ones will be next (besides the obvious demise of the gestation stall that has been forced on the industry by activist groups)?  Is tail-docking necessary?  Is it humane?  Does it really prevent tail-biting?  If you think for a bit I bet you'll come up with an interesting list of your own.

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