Lee Johnston University of Minnesota

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Feeding for Niche Swine Production

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

The market for natural, organic, and other “niche” produced foods represents a small, but growing segment of the food market. Organic food is produced using methods aimed at enhancing the environmental health of the farm ecosystem. The philosophy of organic farming is that farmers work with nature and natural systems to enhance soil, plant and animal health, which leads to a better environment and improved human health. One of the driving forces behind the fast growth of niche food markets is increased public concern over the safety and quality of foods produced from conventional food production systems and an interest in buying locally-produced products. Niche foods are perceived by some consumers as foods that are safer for consumption, better in nutrition, or healthier to the human body than foods produced by conventional production, and having a reduced environmental impact. Regardless of the reasoning for purchasing, these products garner higher prices in the marketplace due to the increased management and production costs required for their production.


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Factsheets

Example Diets for Swine

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

The ability to properly formulate diets to achieve production goals and optimize profitability is essential for the success of any pork production operation. Swine diets are increasingly more complex with the emergence of improved nutritional technologies and greater availability and use of alternative feed ingredients. This factsheet is intended to teach key practical concepts and principles of swine nutrition and diet formulation through the presentation of diets made for various classes of swine.


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Factsheets

Diet and Health Interactions in Swine

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

Providing adequate consumption of all essential nutrients is central to maintaining good health of pigs. Animals that are fed properly are more resistant to many bacterial and parasitic infections, which may be partially due to better body tissue integrity, increased antibody production, improved immunity to diseases, or other factors. Additionally, proper nutrition is essential for rapid recovery from all diseases [1]. Optimal herd health requires that all parts of a production program fit together in a complementary system. Herd health programs can be fully effective only if pigs have adequate nutrition, while nutrient utilization can only be optimized if pigs have high health status. High health status increases productivity and efficiency, but also increases nutrient requirements. Therefore, diet and health are intricately connected and dependent upon each other.


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Factsheets

Gestating Swine Nutrient Recommendations and Feeding Management

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

Feeding management during gestation focuses on minimizing embryo and fetal losses and on preparing the sow for farrowing and lactation. In the very early stages of gestation immediately after conception, the first objective is to provide conditions that will ensure maximal survival of embryos and favor a large litter size at the subsequent farrowing. Growth of the developing fetuses in conjunction with increasing nutrient stores in the sows body through continued growth of young sows or replenishment of nutrient stores lost during the previous lactation for older sows are the main objectives during mid-gestation (day 30 to 75). In late gestation, fetal growth continues at a very rapid rate and mammary development occurs in preparation for the upcoming lactation. Proper feeding programs will satisfy these nutritional needs and ensure continued reproductive performance of sows at a reasonable cost.


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Resources Reviewed

Factsheets

How Does Weaning Age Affect the Welfare of the Nursery Pig?

Publish Date: 04/23/2012

Weaning is a traumatic event for piglets regardless of their age. The change in nutrition from a largely milk based diet to a pelleted ration affects gut local immune status and gut microflora [1, 2]. In addition, changing the accommodation and mixing piglets can all have consequences on the piglet physical, nutritional [3, 4], immunological [5], and behavioral status [6, 7]. What is the “best” or “correct” age to wean the pig according to the scientific information?


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References

Pork Quality Assurance (PQA Plus)

Publish Date: 04/09/2012

In June 2007, the National Pork Board launched the Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA Plus®) program to reflect increasing customer and consumer interest in the way food animals are raised. PQA Plus was built as a continuous improvement program focused on food safety and animal welfare. The program maintains its food-safety tradition to ensure that U.S. pork products continue to be recognized domestically and internationally as the highest quality and safest available. At the same time, PQA Plus provides information to ensure that producers can measure, track and continuously improve animal well-being. In short, PQA Plus gives pork producers another tool to demonstrate to consumers the U.S. pork industry’s ongoing commitment to produce a safe product in a socially responsible way.


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Factsheets

Farrowing Systems for the Sow and her Piglets

Publish Date: 04/18/2011

In the U.S., housing for the lactating sow and her piglets can be divided into five main areas. Total confinement (farrowing stall) houses 83.4 % of the sows. Remaining operations house far fewer sows with open buildings that have outside access at 12.4 %, open building with no outside access, 2.9 %, pasture with hut or no building, 0.7 %, and lot with hut or no building the lowest at 0.6 % [1]. Farrowing stalls have become widely accepted by the industry for numerous reasons: they have made sow management easier, efficiently utilized space, and they can help to reduce piglet mortality [2]. However, the farrowing stall has received criticism due to potential detrimental effects it may impose on the welfare of the sow (such as occurrence of shoulder ulcers [3, 4], behaviors considered problematic [5, 6, 7], and sow’s movements are more restricted). The development of an alternative, economical farrowing system that retains the advantages of the conventional farrowing stall, and provides welfare benefits to the sow and piglets, could be beneficial to the industry [8, 9].


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Factsheets

Nutritional Aspects of Sow Longevity

Publish Date: 03/27/2009

Longevity of a breeding female is influenced by a wide variety of factors, one of which is the nutritional management of the female throughout her productive life. In modern pork production, the female becomes a part of the breeding herd at birth. Hopefully, several reproductive cycles follow before her removal from the breeding herd.


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