An improved knowledge of the interaction between birth weight and early-life nutrition is necessary to improve growth performance and health status of piglets. Studies will be conducted that examine the physiological differences between low and normal birth weight piglets, the impact of early-life nutrition on nutrient use and growth performance, and the impact of nursery diet on health status and ability to resist disease challenge.
Mustard is grown throughout Western Canada, primarily for use as a condiment. However, mustard growers are seeking other uses for this crop. Of interest is the potential of ground mustard as an anti-microbial. Mustard contains a compound called glucosinolate, which under the right conditions can be converted to isothiocyanate, a proven anti-microbial. This study will determine if rubbing a small amount of ground mustard on the skin of baby piglets, or placed in the sows’ environment, will reduce the environmental pathogen load those piglets are exposed to.
The Canadian swine industry must adapt to current and emerging challenges to remain competitive. In general, the industry is focused on improving efficiencies and reducing costs of production. However, the industry also faces many concerns regarding environmental sustainability and societal acceptance of production that need to be continually addressed. Feed represents approximately 70% of the cost of production and plays a critical role in maintaining animal health and performance and in reducing the environmental impact of pork production.
Pork producers in Canada are in the process of transitioning from stall housing to group housing systems for gestating sows. The greatest concern with this change is the problem of aggression when pregnant sows are mixed. Mixing frequently results in aggressive interactions among sows, and can affect reproduction and cause welfare problems. Typically sows are held in stalls for several weeks after insemination to minimize stress during embryo implantation, however there is increasing pressure to reduce the time that sows are kept in stalls.
Sub-clinical disease results in reduced growth and less efficient use of nutrients, resulting in substantial impact on profitability of pork producers. With the elimination of in-feed antibiotics for growth promotion it is increasingly important to understand the interaction between nutrition and health and nutrient requirements during disease challenge events. Feeding high-fibre feedstuffs reduces the efficiency of utilization of dietary threonine for growth in pigs due to an increase in endogenous threonine loss as a result of increased mucin production.
Workers in pig production barns can be exposed to hazards such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas which is emitted from stored pig manure. In the oil industry where H2S is also a serious concern, a treatment approach was successfully developed for controlling H2S emissions. This project will evaluate the applicability of the treatment in swine barns. Room]scale tests will be conducted at Prairie Swine Centre Inc (PSCI) which will involve comparison of H2S levels in two rooms, one operated as a control and the other with the treatment applied.
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