Water as a nutrient (part 3): How to clean your water lines

Posted on September 29, 2021 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Michaela Trudeau The first step in maintaining good water quality in the barn is routine maintenance of water lines. Routine descaling and disinfecting of water lines is recommended at least twice a year. Whether a barn has good or poor water quality, cleaning the water lines is an essential piece of regular barn maintenance.

Managing microenvironments in the farrowing barn

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Swine Performance

By Dave Chamberlin and Jaron Lewton
Proper management of the farrowing barn environment to mutually benefit the sow and her litter is no easy task.  However, with a couple minor adjustments and regular management, you can create a farrowing barn environment that will allow the sow and her litter to perform at optimal levels without adversely affecting one another. 

Management factors lead to swine feeding success – Part two

Posted on November 17, 2017 in Swine Performance

Editor’s note:  This is the second article in a three-part series on the impacts of management factors on swine feeding success.

By Lynnea Courtney
As we discussed in part one of this series, pig performance is impacted by a multitude of management and environmental factors, such as feed management.  Another important factor to consider is water management.  Monitoring water availability and quality in your barns is an essential area to optimize swine health and productivity. 

Up to the Challenge: Vita Plus Swine Summit 2017 Recap

Posted on April 24, 2017 in Swine Performance

More than 150 hog producers, industry peers and Vita Plus employee owners attended Vita Plus Swine Summit 2017 on March 29 and 30 in Morton, Minnesota.  Click the links below for complete event coverage, including articles, videos and speaker presentations.

Management factors lead to swine feeding success – Part one

Posted on March 24, 2017 in Swine Performance

Editor’s note:  This is the first article in a three-part series on the impacts of management factors on swine feeding success.

By Lynnea Courtney
Poor management and environmental conditions can have a large impact on pig performance.  Many performance-limiting factors are avoidable, but they are often overlooked.  Proper management of feed, water, and the environment can help achieve optimal swine health and productivity. 

Preventing sow lameness is a wise goal

Posted on February 4, 2016 in Swine Performance

By Dr. Leah Gesing
Generally, a replacement gilt does not pay for herself until she has farrowed at least three litters  For each additional litter a sow has beyond the third, the fixed cost of piglet production drops drastically.  As a result, increasing longevity and reducing sow culling must be a key focus of any profitable pork operation. 

Stay safe: Protect yourself from the dangers of pit gases

Posted on August 18, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing During the past few months, tragedy has struck two farm families in Iowa and Wisconsin.  Two father-son pairs were killed when they were overcome by pit fumes while working in a pig barn.  These tragic events serve as a reminder of the need to frequently educate all people involved in the

Maintain performance through summer heat – Part 1

Posted on June 26, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing Summer is upon us and with it comes characteristically higher market hog prices accompanied by lower average market weights. To mitigate potential lost profits due to reduced harvest weights, it is important to prepare barns for the summer months by ensuring thermostats, fans, air inlets, sprinklers, and drip coolers are all

Get ready: Winter is on the way

Posted on November 7, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Spencer Jones Winter is drawing near and that means that pork production operations have quite a few projects to check off the list before the snow falls.  As we’re busy wrapping up harvest, it’s easy to overlook the simple things.  Let’s take just a couple of moments to brush up on some of the

Group housing for sows: Can it be done effectively?

Posted on May 7, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Dean Koehler With a lot of pressure to move toward group housing for sows, Dr. Tom Parsons, associate professor of swine medicine in the Department of Clinical Studies – New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, joined us at the Vita Plus Swine Summit to share his insight. Parsons studies

Give them some air…good air

Posted on December 28, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Brendan Corrigan The recent heavy snows and strong winds in the Midwest have me thinking about barn ventilation. Not in reference to the correct set points and heater offsets, but rather the production, circulation and removal of heat and moisture in the barns. Extreme weather such as snow, wind and ice can wreak havoc

Don’t lose your cool!

Posted on June 22, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Jessica Boehm Even though it may have felt like it for a while, we have now officially entered into the summer of 2012 this week – and the heat is on! With the extra heat and humidity hanging around, both our pigs and workers can become overheated more quickly.  With a good understanding of

Sow housing: Where do we stand?

Posted on April 27, 2012 in Swine Performance

By Jessica Boehm and Dr. Dean Koehler 
A few weeks ago at our Swine Summit, we focused some time on the controversial topic of sow housing and sow welfare, especially in regard to the use of gestation crates. The majority of producers who attended the sow breakout session at the event said they currently house sows in stalls for the duration of the gestation period.