GFM Network News


pigs feeding

Precision pig feeder faces market delays

The system promises to cut down on feed cost and extra manure, but there’s no word yet on when 
the equipment will be ready for market

The science of precision pig feeding has come along nicely, but the manufacturing industry has been slow to climb on board, according to the project’s lead researcher. Candido Pomar, of Agri­culture and Agri-Food Canada, was set to bring his pig-specific feeder to commercial trials in 2016 at Prairie Swine Centre, the Manitoba Co-operator reported in mid-2015. Since

Still a lot to learn about hog nutrition

Still a lot to learn about hog nutrition

Ideas for small but significant changes may be difficult to incorporate into large-scale operations

As the hog industry becomes more integrated, small changes in nutrition can have significant financial impacts across large systems. That means that swine nutritionists and academics are challenged to think about what level of proof is needed for changes to be implemented in the barn. That is one of the conundrums facing swine nutrition, says


A barn in Holland in which piglets are given burlap sacks to play with.

Hog enrichment comes in many forms

Not just toys for pigs, enrichment makes swine smarter and easier to transport

The time for thinking about enrichment as “toys for pigs” has long passed. Speaking to producers and members of the pork industry at the Manitoba Swine Seminar in Winnipeg, Jennifer Brown said not only is enrichment mandatory under the current code of practice, it actually provides benefits to both animals and those who handle them.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is working to develop a commercially available precision feeder.

Precision feeder for swine under development

Developers estimate that producers will be able to raise the same quality of carcass with 10 to 15 per cent less feed cost

Technology that will enable swine producers to cater to the specific feeding need of each individual pig will be moving into commercial trials early next year. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) dairy and swine research and development centre has been working towards the commercial development of a computerized precision feeder that will allow producers to

two hogs

Changes to satisfy hog enrichment don’t have to be expensive

Hog producers are looking at ways of meeting new animal care requirements as they come into effect

As Manitoba hog producers begin implementing the new code of practice, it’s clear that sow barn conversions are top of mind. “We’ve had a lot of questions looking for clarity about the group housing; there are different requirements,” noted Yolande Seddon, a researcher at the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatchewan. As of last year, the


Variable creep feed intake confounds trial results

The benefits of creep feeding are notoriously variable, with some research trials showing a positive benefit and others showing no advantage. Even taking into account factors such as weaning age, length of the creep-feeding period, and type of diet fed, it is somewhat of a mystery why the outcomes are not more consistent. So what’s

Animal stress affects meat quality

Quality pork depends on a lot of factors, among them is how pigs are transported to the slaughterhouse. Yolande Seddon and other researchers at the Prairie Swine Centre have been investigating the causes of swine stress during transportation and notes the Prairies have some particular transportation challenges to overcome. “We know there are very challenging

Meeting the challenge of heavier carcass weights

The demand from pork processors for heavier carcasses has created a number of challenges for hog producers which need to be addressed in order to ensure that increasing the weight at which pigs are marketed is profitable. This was the message to producers from Dr. Eduardo Beltranena, with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, at the


Simple Changes Can Reduce Hog Transport Losses

Bernie Peet Peet on Pigs Losses of pigs between the farm and the point of slaughter can be reduced significantly by relatively simple changes to facilities and handling, according to two speakers at the recent Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop. Dr. Jennifer Brown from the Prairie Swine Centre described an observational study of 10 commercial

Early Nursery Performance Not Affected By Diet Complexity

Bernie Peet is president of Pork Chain Consulting Ltd. of Lacombe, Alberta, and editor of Western Hog Journal. His columns will run every second week in the Manitoba Co-operator. Recent research by Dr. Denise Beaulieu at the Prairie Swine Centre suggests that the response of newly weaned pigs to two dietary regimes based on a