Aiming for 1,000-gram growth in fattening pigs: factors for success and points of improvement

Wageningen UR Livestock Research is studying the growth and feed conversion of fattening pigs. The most important success factors which contribute to a good performance are associated with hygiene, nutrition, shelter, climate, delivery management, and structured working methods. The most important points where improvements can be made are associated with the quality of the pigs, external and internal biosecurity, and feeding.
Monday 29 March 2010 (8 years 7 months 22 days ago)
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Wageningen UR Livestock Research is studying the growth and feed conversion of fattening pigs. The most important success factors which contribute to a good performance are associated with hygiene, nutrition, shelter, climate, delivery management, and structured working methods. The most important points where improvements can be made are associated with the quality of the pigs, external and internal biosecurity, and feeding.

It is apparent that various aspects contribute to the good performance on the visited farms. The most important success factors are:
• Hygiene: among other things, thoroughly cleaning the area after each round.
• Health care: vaccinating the piglets against Mycoplasma and deworming them according to a set deworming strategy. Five out of the six farms vaccinated either their piglets or their fattening pigs against Mycoplasma.
• Feeding aspects: on five of the six farms, the animals received wet feed thrice daily by means of a long trough so they could eat all together. A lot of attention was paid to the quality, availability and stability of the by-products. The rations contained large amounts of pure grains and easily digestible protein sources.
• Shelter: on five of the six farms, the floor space per animal measured 0.8 m2. The animals were housed in relatively small groups (eight to twenty-one animals per pen).
• Climate: the barn climate was good on most farms.
• Delivery management: at the first delivery to the slaughter house from all pens one or a few pigs were delivered so that the other animals had more space. On none of the farms were the remaining animals transferred to a room containing younger pigs.
• The farm manager: most farm managers had a very structured method of working.

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