High risk of scour outbreaks
Pneumonia, piglet scours and mastitis are this months stock health concerns highlighted by UK Vet. Jessica Buss reports
COLD weather can increase the risk of post-weaning scour caused by E coli.
Humberside pig vet Mark White warns that scours are always worse when pigs are chilled or when temperatures fluctuate. Risks are further increased when changes in a pigs gut at weaning allow the E coli bug to multiply, causing scour.
When weaned into flat-deck accommodation it may be possible to improve the heating and insulation. But in straw-based kennels without a heat supply, pigs can fail to heat up pens in cold weather.
Mr White advises supplying more straw or cutting down the space allowance – providing that minimum requirements for space, water and feed availability are still met.
One option is to put whole straw bales into pens to occupy unwanted space and then take them out as pigs grow to provide more space, he adds.
Most weaner pig diets now contain zinc oxide which is effective against scour. But when an outbreak occurs more intensive treatment, by water medication or injections, may be needed once the type of scour has been identified.
PIGS: WATCH FOR
• Farrowing fever and mastitis.
• Thin sows if outdoors.
• E coli-type scours.