By Curtiss Littlejohn, Swine Products Manager with Canarm AgSystems
Anyone who has tried to get a two-year-old to eat Brussel sprouts has a pretty good idea of the challenges that you may face getting a young gilt or sow to enter and use an Electronic Sow Feeder for the first time. No matter how much you tell them it’s good for them, they really don’t want anything to do with that thing. And all of this can be exponentially more difficult if they are not introduced properly to the new system. But as North American farmers adopt more ESFs, a good understanding of this training is building.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal welfare groups have identified another state in the effort to get rid of egg-layer battery cages, sow gestation stalls and veal crates. Having already conducted successful initiative petition drives in Florida, Arizona and California, Massachusetts is the target for 2016.
Lameness prevention in commercial swine operations continues to prove crucial for animal well-being, performance and herd profitability. Some predisposing factors that may lead to sow lameness and result in early culling from the herd include nutrition, management, housing and trauma.