Managing the microbiome (part 2): Nutrition for a healthy microbiome

Posted on January 6, 2022 in Swine Performance
By Jaron Lewton As discussed in part 1 of this series , while still not completely understood, the composition of the intestinal microbiome has been correlated with growth performance, animal health and even behavior. In this article, we look at nutrition considerations that can positively impact microbiome composition.

Managing the microbiome (part 1): What affects the balance?

Posted on November 30, 2021 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Michaela Trudeau Millions of microbes - including bacteria, protozoa, viruses and fungi - reside in the intestinal tract of pigs and collectively play a role in nutrient digestion, pathogen protection, immune function, and gut health. This large community comprises what is often referred to as the intestinal microbiome. In general, the microbes comprising

Managing the first lactation: Parity 1 feeding strategies

Posted on August 5, 2021 in Swine Performance

By Jaron Lewton
Replacement gilts are a huge investment required of every farm.  Increasing sow longevity and average parity of a farm can reduce costs and improves overall return. In this article, we'll explore first-parity lactation and subsequent gestation diets to improve sow performance.

Water as a nutrient (part 2): Water quality impacts bottom line

Posted on July 2, 2021 in Swine Performance

By Dr. Michaela Trudeau
Water is consumed at much higher quantities than other nutrients, so ensuring the water is safe and of good quality is critical. Too frequently, as long as we know pigs have access to water, we don’t stop to consider whether the water source is of a quality that will improve - not hinder - pigs’ performance. Let's explore different ways to evaluate water quality, ranging from a simple on-farm evaluation to more in-depth measurements.

Water as a nutrient (part 1): Water intake fuels pig growth

Posted on June 15, 2021 in Swine Performance

By Dr. Michaela Trudeau
There are direct, correlated relationships between water intake, feed intake, and bodyweight in nursery and grow-finish pigs. To maintain high feed efficiency, water availability becomes even more critical as the pig grows and feed intake increases.

Breeding protocols and nutrition

Posted on February 10, 2021 in Swine Performance

By Dave Chamberlin and Jaron Lewton
The productivity of a sow herd is dependent on the success of the farm’s breeding program, and the most successful breeding programs have clear and concise protocols.  While every farm has its own breeding schedule and protocols, pork producers can use the following science-based tools and techniques to fine-tune their breeding program to improve the overall performance of their swine herds.

Minimizing mycotoxin contamination in your swine feed

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Swine Performance

By Dr. Leah Gesing
Mycotoxin contamination in swine feed is going to be a concern for many producers in the year ahead.  We can’t change the situation, but, with proper education, awareness and mitigation strategies, we can limit the negative impact mycotoxins can have on your operation.  As we finish the 2016 harvest and begin to include the new corn crop and by-products from the new crop in swine diets, keep the following points in mind...

A good creep

Posted on May 3, 2016 in Swine Performance

By Dr. Leah Gesing
Average piglet wean age has crept higher in the last several years as the swine industry has begun to more fully realize the benefits of weaning an older, heavier pig.  

Better margins with increased feed efficiency

Posted on December 1, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing During periods of slim margins in swine production, this may be the best time to place a sharper focus on the “small things” you can do to improve feed efficiency, thereby improving the profitability of your operation. Two ways to impact feed efficiency are to make changes to the actual form

Effectively using mold inhibitors and mycotoxin binders

Posted on September 8, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing Some parts of the Midwest experienced extended periods of both rainfall and drought this summer.  It is expected that affected areas will have a higher prevalence of molds and mycotoxins in harvested grains this fall.  In fact, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. recently tweeted that, since June 1, more than 60 percent of

Maintain performance through summer heat – Part 2

Posted on July 15, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Leah Gesing Heat stress can result in lost profits during the summer months and its after effects may be felt into the fall.  Proper diet formulation to compensate for decreased feed intake can moderate the customary summer dip in carcass weights.  Correctly utilizing supplemental fat, crystalline amino acids, chromium and ractopamine in diet formulation

Quality ingredients matter

Posted on May 27, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing As a pork producer purchasing feed ingredients, you are faced with choices about where to source those ingredients and how much to pay for them. Obviously, it is tempting to pick the cheapest source of an ingredient.  Buying ingredients cheaply means that diets will cost less and you’ll profit more… right?

Tips for Success This Show Pig Season

Posted on May 15, 2014 in Swine Performance
By James Thompson It’s that time of year! Youth across the country are rounding up their swine projects. These projects go a long way in teaching youth about responsibility.  Whether you’re competing at county, state or national levels, the swine project is a great way to build quality family time and a valued work ethic

Give your nursery pigs the right start

Posted on August 30, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Brendan Corrigan It’s common to observe significant differences in the activity levels, average weights, weight distributions within groups, and health statuses of groups of newly weaned pigs; and typical observations for these factors certainly vary from herd to herd.  These differences result from multiple variables, including disease exposure and immune development, genetic makeup of

Pellets or meal? Which is better?

Posted on October 26, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Julie Salyer Feeding pelleted diets to finishing pigs has been shown to improve feed conversion by 5 to 8 percent. High feed costs have led producers to re-evaluate the economics of feeding pellets in all phases of swine production. Some factors to take into consideration when contemplating whether to pellet swine diets include feed

Managing your nutrition program in challenging times

Posted on September 28, 2012 in Swine Performance
Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater By Nate Brown Potential $40-per-head losses and possible shortages of staple feed ingredients have forced hog producers to ask some very difficult questions. Do you sell hogs at light market weights to conserve feed? Do you feed an array of alternative ingredients to stretch corn and soybean