W. E. Morgan Morrow North Carolina State University

Resources Authored

References

Alternative Methods for the Disposal of Swine Carcasses

Publish Date: July 19, 2006

North Carolina State University Animal Science Fact Sheet ANS01-815S. There is probably no one "best way" to dispose of swine mortality carcasses. The optimum system for any particular farm location would need to be selected based on a number of criteria, including the current state of the protein/oil market, the biosecurity required, the distance to processing sites, the local public's perception, and the government regulations that apply to that location. Regardless of the method of choice, the public's concern for the environment and increasingly restrictive regulations governing the disposal of dead pigs will continue to present new challenges for the swine industry.


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Factsheets

Baby Pig Management - Birth to Weaning

Publish Date: June 3, 2006

Good care and management in the farrowing quarters has a major influence on the number of liveborn piglets that are weaned and on how well they perform in later stages of production. According to a 1995 survey of swine management practices in the United States, the average number of preweaning piglet deaths per litter on farms was .88 or 9.4% of those born alive. The two leading causes of preweaning deaths were laid on (48.7%) and starvation (20.5%). Other surveys have shown that over 50% of the deaths occur in the first two to three days of life.


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Resources Reviewed

PIG How-To's

Daily Walking Swine Breeding-Gestation and Farrowing Barns

Publish Date: November 12, 2014

Regardless of whether a caretaker is walking a barn used for gilt development, breeding-gestation, or farrowing, the facility has to be observed and evaluated at the barn level, pen or stall level, and individual pig level. The main reason for walking a barn is to identify problems, determine why the problem is occurring, and take action to solve the problem. A walk-through requires the caretaker to make observations, listen to sounds, smell odors, feel/take room temperatures, measure relative humidity, and touch objects. The morning walk-through is usually more thorough because of the detailed observation of each individual animal, feeding system, watering system, and environment. The afternoon walk-through is less intense and mainly involves an evaluation of animal comfort, water availability, feed availability, and adequate ventilation. Caretakers need to apply their knowledge to solve the problems.


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Factsheets

Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE)

Publish Date: August 29, 2013

Among the economically important diarrheal diseases of baby pigs, transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) remains a cause of sickness and death. All age groups are susceptible. When the disease strikes a seronegative (antibody-free) herd at the time of farrowing, it is not unusual to lose most (often 100%) of the pigs farrowed under 3 weeks of age. A milder enzootic form of TGE, associated with chronic or intermittent episodes of diarrhea usually in 1- to 3-week-old suckling or recently weaned pigs, occurs in partially immune (seropositive) herds that have continuous farrowing or where pigs are regularly added or mixed. After a distinct respiratory variant of TGE (porcine respiratory coronavirus or PRCV) has spread throughout most parts of the world (first in Europe, and then in the US in the 1980’s) occurrences of TGE have become more sporadic. Although accurate statistics are not available, the disease is still reported from parts of Europe, North America and Asia. Serologic surveys indicate that enzootic TGE is widespread throughout the US. Porcine respiratory coronavirus infections have complicated the diagnosis of TGE by generating cross-reactive antibodies that cannot be differentiated using conventional serologic tests, even though they are usually associated with only mild respiratory disease or sub-clinical infections.


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Factsheets

Tuberculosis and other Mycobacterial Infections

Publish Date: October 29, 2013

Tuberculosis or mycobacterial disease (Tb) is reported in about 0.4% of all swine slaughtered under Federal inspection (based on reports from United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service [USDA] and probably costs the swine industry an estimated $7.3 million annually. This is not a large amount compared to losses from other swine diseases. Although there are relatively few commercial herds infected with TB, the economic losses can be devastating to those producers that have the disease in their herds. The disease in swine has no apparent effect on the health of the animal. Lack of transmission of the disease from swine to humans cannot be proven. Therefore, USDA meat inspection regulations formulated in 1972 call for special handling of carcasses in which evidence of lesions containing acid fast bacteria are found. Economic losses occur to the swine industry because of these regulations. Tuberculosis has been nearly eliminated in cattle and poultry. Tuberculin testing of cattle with subsequent slaughter of reactors and in some cases depopulation of entire herds, has lowered the prevalence of the disease to about 0.0001% (USDA, 2010 records) in slaughter cattle., The poultry industry has changed to all-pullet flocks and has essentially eliminated Tb. Elimination of older birds over a year of age has been an effective control measure. The rate of condemnation for Tb is 0.0001% in light fowl (USDA, 2011 records). It has been assumed by many that eradication of Tb from cattle and chickens would ultimately lead to its eradication in swine. This has not occurred and mycobacterial infections in swine remain a problem for pork producers.


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Factsheets

Swine Ectoparasites: House Fly and Other Non-Biting Flies

Publish Date: April 30, 2012

The house fly is the most common nonbiting fly species encountered in swine facilities. Female flies deposit their eggs in manure, spilled feed, or other decaying organic matter found in and around the facility. These eggs typically hatch in 1 to 2 days. Larval development progresses through 3 phases called instars over the next 4 to 6 days. Late 3rd instars will abandon the moist habitat of the breeding site to seek a drier environment in which to pupate. Adults subsequently emerge from the puparium in about 3 to 5 days. The entire life cycle can be completed in as little as 10 to 14 days, depending on temperature. In northern climates house flies are usually present from May through October with multiple generations being produced during the fly season. In southern climates or in temperature controlled swine barns, conditions allow house flies to breed throughout the year.


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Factsheets

Swine Ectoparasites: Stable Fly and Other Biting Flies

Publish Date: April 30, 2012

The stable fly is a common biting fly found inside and out of swine facilities. Both male and female stable flies take 1-2 bloodmeals daily and are frequently observed resting in shaded areas while they digest their meal. Females deposit 80-100 eggs in decaying organic matter, typically wet bedding, wasted feed, and mixtures of manure and straw or other bedding. Developmental time of the stable fly is about 15-30 days, the eggs hatch in 1 to 2 days, followed by a 10-15 day larval stage. The larvae then seek a drier environment in which to pupate. Adults subsequently emerge about 6 to 8 days later. In cool climates stable flies are usually active from May through October with numerous generations being produced during this time period. However, in warmer climates conditions allow the stable fly to breed continuously year around. Although stable flies may be infected with PRRS virus under laboratory conditions, the likelihood of transmission is low (Rochon et al. 2011).


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