16 November 2001

Pig barrows pose a big risk of cross infection

CUT piglet scouring by up to 50% by avoiding the use of feed barrows to hold piglets when carrying out routine tasks such as teeth-clipping and injecting.

That is the advice of Paul Wright, consultant to pig breeding firm Cotswold International. "Many pig producers use feed barrows to hold piglets when carrying out routine tasks in farrowing houses. Whole litters are placed in the barrow before individual piglets are returned to sows as they are treated. The barrow is then pushed along to the next pen.

"This provides an ideal method of cross contamination. Some place piglets on top of feed, which becomes contaminated, further distributing any infection."

Instead of using a barrow, Mr Wright recommends confining pigs in farrowing pens using a board, lifting them over to the other side as tasks are completed.

"This method has led to dramatic reductions in scouring. Such precautions are particularly important on farms suffering from PMWS/ PDNS," adds Mr Wright. &#42