Care of Pigs From Farrowing to Weaning
Weaning large litters of thrifty, heavyweight pigs is a key factor for a profitable swine herd. Newborn pigs have a better survival chance if they arrive in a clean, sanitized farrowing facility. Attendance at farrowing will pay off in more live pigs but may not be economically feasible. Total Percent of pigs born Pig death prior to first observation per litter 0.70 7.1 Pig death after the first observation 1.79 18.2 Mean pig death per litter 2.49 25.3. If several sows are farrowing within a 24-hour period, pigs can be transferred successfully from one sow to another. Table 4 indicates nearly 60 percent of pigs born under 2 pounds will perish. Table 5 indicates that with extra care and nutrient supplementation, many of these pigs can be saved. Weight range Number of pigs Weight distribution of population Survival Under 2.0 pounds 1,035 6 percent 42 percent 2.0 to 2.4 pounds 2,367 13 percent 68 percent 2.5 to 2.9 pounds 4,197 24 percent 75 percent 3.0 to 3.4 pounds 5,012 28 percent 82 percent 3.5 to 3.9 pounds 3,268 19 percent 86 percent 4.0 pounds and over 1,734 10 percent 88 percent Total 17,613 100 percent 77 percent 1From Pork Industry Handbook. Average birth weight of live pigs farrowed 3.0 pounds Iowa Swine Nutrition Herd Performance Data.Table 5Survival of nursing pigs dosed with milk replacers1. Pigs are most susceptible from 1 to 4 days of age, at 3 weeks of age and at weaning. Creep feedingIn addition to sows’ milk, pigs need a creep feed to make maximum gain through weaning. Provide a fresh creep feed at one week of age in a place where pigs can get away from the sow. Sprinkling feed on the floor or placing it in a shallow pan may help pigs start to eat. Weaning pigsWhere good management is practiced, pigs are consistently weaned successfully when three to six weeks old in Missouri. Gradually increase the ration so that the sow is on full feed by seven to ten days after farrowing if she has had at least eight pigs in the litter.
From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs
From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs : The Salt Guinea pigs are popular pets in the U.S., but in parts of South America, they’re a delicacy. You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets. There may be more to gain from eating guinea pig than bizarre foods bragging rights. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment. “They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs,” Miller says. The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. Jason Woods, the nonprofit’s Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs – which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds – are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before. At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 – from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. While guinea pig may be attaining star status as a hold-your-nose-and-roll-the-camera bizarre food, whether an animal so favored as a pet in the United States will become a mainstream piece of protein is, perhaps, doubtful. “There’s a clear cultural prejudice against eating guinea pigs, and rodents in general, in the United States,” Miller says. “But finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is a good idea, and so is eating small livestock, like guinea pigs.”
GM pigs take step to being organ donors
The most genetically modified animals in existence have been created to help end a shortage of organs for transplant, say US researchers. The scientists successfully rid 37 pigs of viruses hiding in their DNA, overcoming one of the big barriers to transplanting pig organs to people. The team at eGenesis admits preventing pig organs from being rejected by the human body remains a huge challenge. The study, published in the journal Science, started with skin cells from a pig. Tests identified 25 Pervs – porcine endogenous retroviruses – hidden in the pig’s genetic code. Experiments mixing human and pig cells together showed those viruses could escape to infect human tissues. The researchers then used the game-changing gene-editing technology Crispr to delete the 25 Pervs. It then took cloning technology, the same used to create Dolly the sheep, to place the genetic material from those cells into a pig’s egg and create embryos. “These are the first Perv-free pigs,” Dr Luhan Yang, one of the researchers from Harvard University and the spinout company eGenesis, told the BBC News website. More than 100,000 people need an organ transplant in the US. There are about 6,500 people on the UK waiting list. Pigs are particularly promising for xenotransplantation as their organs are a similar size to humans’, and the animals can be bred in large numbers. Removing the viruses is only half the challenge, even organs donated from other people can cause a strong immune reaction that leads to the transplant being rejected. The US team is investigating further genetic modifications to make pig organs more acceptable to the human immune system. “Prof Ian McConnell, from the University of Cambridge, said:”This work provides a promising first step in the development of genetic strategies for creating strains of pigs where the risk of transmission of retroviruses has been eliminated. “It remains to be seen whether these results can be translated into a fully safe strategy in organ transplantation.” Making 25 cuts throughout the pig’s genome led to DNA instability and the loss of genetic information.