Scientists use new method to help reduce piglet mortality

Preweaning mortality costs the U.S. pork industry an estimated $1.6 billion each year, and one of the contributing factors is deficient colostrum intake by piglets. To help increase newborn piglets' survival, USDA scientists have developed a new method that predicts animals' mortality and nursing ability. FULL STORY »

Stalls or groups: It’s a complex issue

This year, numerous food retailers have announced deadlines for their pork suppliers to ensure that farms raising the hogs eliminate gestation-sow stalls. However, "simply moving sows from stalls to pens where they can move around will definitely not improve their welfare," according to a University of Illinois researcher. FULL STORY »

Fewer pigs next year should help producers' profitability

University of Missouri Extension economist Ron Plain says that fewer sows should lead to fewer pigs and much-needed higher prices for producers in 2013. Plain also says that pork prices in the grocery store will be attractive for consumers for the remainder of this year. FULL STORY »

Bagel chain announces intent to go stall-free

Bruegger’s Bagels restaurant chain has joined the growing list of food retailers and grocery stores announcing that they will eliminate sow gestation stalls from its pork supply chain. The company, headquartered in Burlington, Vt., offers breakfast bagel sandwiches featuring bacon, ham or sausage. FULL STORY »

Consistent sow feeding promotes consistent pig production

Sow rations should be formulated and body condition scoring protocols implemented, so body condition scores (BCS) remain steady through the production cycle, says Mike Hemann, swine nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition. FULL STORY »

Commentary: Companies pacify HSUS - for now

Companies that are requesting pork producers to eliminate sow gestation stalls are playing follow the leader and unfortunately the leader is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Somehow HSUS has been able to convince these companies that they are the “experts” on animal welfare while the real experts are being ignored. FULL STORY »

Dunkin’ Donuts to eliminate sow gestation crates

Dunkin’ Donuts is the latest food retailer to announce that it will eliminate sow gestation crates from its pork supply chain. In order to determine a timeline for eliminating gestation crates, the company will require its U.S. pork suppliers to outline their plans to achieve the goal. FULL STORY »

HSUS sow stall effort “absolutely not justifiable”

The Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) validation of sow gestation stalls as not being humane and not sustainable is “absolutely not justifiable,” said Janeen Salek-Johnson, associate professor of animal well-being, University of Illinois. FULL STORY »

Retail pork supplier sets gestation-stall-free deadline at 2017

A major U.S. food distributor-- Atlantic Premium Brands Ltd.—wants its pork suppliers to eliminate gestation-sow stalls by 2017. Some of its retail clients include the grocery chains Walmart, HEB, Kroger, Costco, Win Dixie, Sam’s Club, Safeway, and SuperValu. FULL STORY »

The impact of PRRS on the cost of pig production

One of the most prominent health issues in the pork industry is the porcine reproductive and repository syndrome virus (PRRSv). It causes extended days to market for growing pigs and reproductive problems in the breeding herd. FULL STORY »

New feeding knowledge distributed to specialists

With a world tour that visited 20 countries, the ToPigs nutrition team has introduced new feeding manuals for sows. This intensive knowledge distribution reached 700 feeding specialists in just 6 months. FULL STORY »

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