GFM Network News


Lameness: A stealthy thief that robs performance

Lameness in sows is a stealthy thief because losses from this health problem often go unnoticed or unrecognized, says Mark Wilson of Zinpro Corporation in Eden Prairie, Minn. “Lameness is one of the major reasons for culling in gilts and sows,” Wilson said at the recent London Swine Conference. “There are several causes of lameness

NIRS provides rapid feed-ingredient analysis

Cost of $40,000 can potentially be paid off within six months on a moderate-size beef or hog operation

The technique of Near Infrared Reflectance Spectrometry (NIRS) analysis is set to change the way livestock producers evaluate feed ingredients and have their rations formulated. Because this technology provides a rapid assessment of a wide range of nutritional parameters, such as energy value, dry matter and protein, the economic value of ingredients such as cereals


Understanding the options for group sow housing

Second of two articles on group sow housing There are a number of group sow-housing systems that can be used in converted buildings or new barns. Each of them has particular features and limitations that need to be understood in order to make an informed decision about which system to choose. While there are certainly

Time to start thinking about group sow housing

With a phase-out of sow stalls almost inevitable, producers need to start evaluating different systems

When the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs is published in draft form this summer, it will very likely include a requirement that sow stalls be phased out over a period of time. Producers will be able to house sows in stalls for a period after breeding, in order to

Precision pork production — a vision of the future

Imagine a finishing barn where each pig receives exactly the right amount of nutrients each day to optimize its growth, maximize the efficiency of nutrient use and minimize the excretion of waste. A barn where sophisticated feeding equipment identifies each pig and delivers a precise dose of blended feed using complex mathematical models to predict


Supplementary rearing worth a second look

Genetic advances in litter size over the last 15 years have provided hog producers with the potential for 14 or more piglets born alive per litter and the ability to boost herd output to 30 pigs weaned per sow. But as I have pointed out in previous articles, this presents a number of challenges and

Better Times Ahead For Hog Producers?

So far this year, Canadian producers have had their best period of profitability in the last five years, a relief for those who survived a four-year period of unprecedented hardship, with low hog prices and high feed costs. With market hogs fetching up to $200 a head and sometimes more during the summer, the only

Back To Basics For Nursery Management

Doing the basics well, especially during the crucial first week after weaning, is the key to successful nursery management, says Shawn Morton, who operates a 7,000-head specialist nursery barn located just east of Red Deer, Alberta. He focuses strongly on what he calls The Three Basics feed, water and environment. Combined with careful attention to


Using DDGS Effectively To Reduce Feed Costs

Over the last decade, the availability of dried distillers grains with solubles, or DDGS, has increased rapidly, while the price of cereal grains has escalated. This is forcing the livestock industry to take a hard look at how to utilize the byproducts of industrial processes that use not only grains, but also oilseeds and pulses.