Management of group-housed sows: optimizing mixing time and environmental enrichment to improve welfare and productivity

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.

Impact of dietary fibre and immune challenge on threonine requirements and pig robustness

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.

Room-scale Evaluation and Environmental Impact Assessment of a Treatment Approach for Reducing Hydrogen Sulphide Emission from Swine Barns

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.