Non-medicated feed and weight gain

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oldbrickhouse
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Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by oldbrickhouse » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:28 pm

Does anyone think there is any connection between the loose of weight gain and the now non-medicated feed we are required to use? The reason I post this is in Ohio and Indiana area I am hearing of a lot of people struggling to put weight on their show pigs. I was just curious since the previous years the feed had a small amount of anti-b's in it. It seems like I have had more issues with coughing and wheezing.

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by Norm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:54 pm

It could be related, but I think there are other things contributing. First, crossbred genetics are wildly inconsistent for growth. Even littermates vary a bunch, I think it is the mutt on mutt on mutt breeding plans. Secondly, pigs are being sold at earlier ages. They are less predictable at younger ages and get shipped all over which causes a bunch of stress. Honestly, I don't even like to evaluate pigs under 10 weeks of age, margin of error is too high. Finally, I think the cold wet spring was a factor. When air temps are too low on mixed and stressed hogs, lungs are the first to go. Jackpot the hogs some and it gets even worse.

If you'd like to maximize growth, identify pigs that have some growth genetics, put them on a bigger skeletal frame, increase your biosecurity, and run water based treatments. My 2¢

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by pigpeople » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:39 am

I firmly believe that there is a connection. Here in the NW, there have been many issues with getting pigs to gain weight like they have in years past (of course every pig is different) and I know that there have been countless ABX given and vet calls (from vets themselves).
While I understand the "idea" behind taking the medication out of the feed, I think the great governments plan is going to end up backfiring because rather than having a little abx in the feed, we have a LOT of abx going in these pigs and unfortunately, probably too many.
Just my two cents.... :lol:

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by HogDoc » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:13 am

I don't think there is any debate that there has been an effect in the show pig world. In more commercial production systems the effect has been negligible and they are more able to use VFDs as needed.

The number of calls we get about scours and to a lesser degree respiratory has been on the up since last fall when the antibiotics were taken out of feed in the south and has continued all summer. Given that subclinical ileitis is a culprit for decreased growth and the number of show pigs that get vaccine is limited I'm convinced there is a real connection. Ileitis is a little like cockroaches. if you see one cockroach there are probably a hundred more you don't see and the one pig you see scouring is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of pigs affected.

We are almost two full cycles into feeding show pigs without antibiotics and the story has been the same in the south last fall/winter and the north this spring/summer. It looks like a trend to me. It sure isn't the train wreck that some folks were suggesting going into it and honestly it has been a little tougher to manage than I expected.

One thing I'd really like to see the feed companies think about going ahead and removing the denagard from nursery feeds so that vaccinating for ileitis would be an easier proposition. Given the increase in ionophore toxicity cases that are happening it probably isn't the dumbest idea to stay away from denagard anyway.
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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by All is Well » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:40 pm

It was very difficult this year in our part of Ohio to get pigs to make weight. Alot of folks had to push like never before including us. Definitely more light weights than heavy weights this year. May need to breed a few weeks earlier if this keeps up. I know the medication has something to do with it. Our feed tags always said medicated for increased weight gain and feed intake and now they don't.

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by oldbrickhouse » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:46 pm

I agree with everything I have read thus far from my post. We just finished up a fair and the amount of lightweight pigs was amazing. Talking with some of the more advanced show families, they had the same response....just couldn't get weight on show pigs this year. I will agree, we have had a mild summer so far in southern Ohio, some of the lack of weight I would attribute to water weight just because the pigs just wouldn't drink as much....not a new occurrence and something I have worked around before in the past. My though moving forward is using automatic water addition of a very low concentration of antibiotics. Thoughts?

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by HogDoc » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:22 am

Rather than a constant low level you might be better off using a pulse dosing strategy where you use therapeutic levels for short periods of time.
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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by MSPR » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:12 pm

I did not think about this being a cause of the underweight pigs this year. We can relate it to many reasons. It would be very interesting to follow this somewhere.

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by oldbrickhouse » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:36 am

Curious Hog-Doc why a intermittent dose vs the constant low level when they drink. Is it the higher concentration for a shorter period of time?

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by HogDoc » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:41 am

It's about resistance with a constant low level you are essentially breeding stronger more resistant bacteria. If you pulse medicate and kill the majority of them with a therapeutic level you don't risk building resistance as much.

Its a little like an interview I saw awhile back with a sniper that served in Fallujah. He said all the slow insurgents had already been eliminated by the time he got there so just the really fast ones were left.
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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by oldbrickhouse » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:48 pm

Very much makes sense now. So the levels removed from the feed...what would have called them?

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by madarchery » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:32 pm

Watched a show the other day on this topic of antibiotics in general. I did not realize how "new" of a drug it was, and this newness and the fact that bacteria are adaptable does make it scary.

Basically its a bacterial genetic mutation already in nature and the more contact this mutation encounters antibiotic the faster it become resistant.

And drug manufactures have no incentive to discover alternate drugs, you cant make money on narrow spectrum drugs. They like the kind the masses are told they need everyday.

IMO- It makes sense to remove, it makes sense to treat as needed. I think we have become to dependent and gained a false expectation. Hopefully we and maybe the industry changes their expectations on how fast swine can and should grow in a more "natural" environment.

Sucks this year though :|

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by HogDoc » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:58 pm

oldbrickhouse wrote:Very much makes sense now. So the levels removed from the feed...what would have called them?
There were three or four common feed antibiotics in show pig diets that were all therapeutic levels. I'm thinking of Denagard / CTC, 200 grams per ton of Lincomycin and 100 grams per ton Tylan specifically.
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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by Rway » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:50 pm

Interesting thread. Several producers and I have had this discussion and noted a high number of underweights at our local fair here in Ohio. I am solving the issue for my breeding by pushing my breeding dates back a little. We didn't have any issues personally with light weights, but some of the hogs that I sold were lighter than I expected by the time they made it to their local fairs. We generally in the past fed linco in the feed through about 100 pounds and then tylan from that point until slaughter. I think the lost of tylan has hurt our feeding routines. I would be curious to hear what feeds have done the best without the meds. I do not feed Sunglow, but I have heard many good things about their line of feeds this year. Curious to what others have heard.

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Re: Non-medicated feed and weight gain

Post by JustStarting » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:24 am

We're feeding Moorman feed and we've had several instances of scours and lack of appetite this season. It seems like we're giving multiple shots everyday to sick pigs. This is the first time we've shown summer/fall pigs and I was attributing it to our heat here in the south. I still believe the heat is a factor in the lack of appetite, but scouring is most likely the result of no Tylan in feed anymore. Personally, if only a couple antibiotics are being used in the feed and it's the same ones at all times, the eventual resistance will be to those antibiotics, or that same class of antibiotics anyway. It's not like feed companies are putting the latest broad spectrum antibiotics in the feed, so I don't really see what's been accomplished. If the pig and/or eventually humans get sick, they're going to get the newest heavy weight antibiotic the dr prescribes anyway, which will not have had any resistance developed at that point. I understand that eventually there'll be nowhere else to go with the "super bugs", but Tylan and other feed additives are not going to cause that

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