So many things hinge on an operation’s employees, and the success of the disease prevention program is one of them.

 Here is a list of six things that management can do to promote improved disease prevention, as well as employee success, according to Ed Kluber, DVM, Columbus, Neb.

  • Don’t purchase health problems. Disease organisms are adaptable enough to find their way into a herd, you don’t want to create ways to assist them. Purchase breeding stock that is “free” of certain diseases, thus eliminating the need to deal with them.
  • Proper gilt development. Gilts that show strong signs of estrus are more easily detected in heat and increase the likelihood of achieving acceptable farrowing rates and born alive averages.
  • Weaning age. As weaning age increases, the sow’s rebreeding performance (subsequent farrowing rate and born alive) improves. Post weaning pig performance also improves.
  • Remove bottlenecks in all processes. There is always a more efficient way to perform all tasks. Be open to change, do not get stuck in an old “rut”. Listen to the people actually performing the tasks — there may be a better way to do them.
  • Reduce reaction time. When health problems arise, management must address them before they get out of control. This demonstrates that management cares. When problems aren’t addressed quickly, unit personnel often feel it’s “us against them”. This is never productive.
  • Create an environment of cooperation. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Remember, you are on the same team. The system’s success depends on the success of the people.