2022 WPX: Veterinarian seeing astounding results with Zoetis' Improvest in gilts

Dr. Taylor Engle says expect to market gilts about 7 to 10 days earlier with Improvest
calendar icon 27 July 2022
clock icon 3 minute read

Dr. Taylor Engle, veterinarian with Four Star Veterinary Service, talked to The Pig Site’s Sarah Mikesell at the 2022 World Pork Expo held in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Dr. Engel offers his unique perspective of using Improvest in producers' herds.

Engle and his team considered a lot of aspects before using Improvest with their producers.

"For us, it was: how do we assemble injection crews? What are the biosecurity considerations? How many people need to be involved? What training would we need?," Dr. Engle explained. "Zoetis does do online training certifications, so in order for people to use Improvest, they need to go through the training which was really important for us.”

Biosecurity considerations of Improvest's implementation included how to safely move personnel from farm to farm and provide proper PPE for the team. Engel said they also considered the safety of their team working directly with large animals and the added stress the process could put on those animals.

Ultimately, Engle and his team at Four Star Veterinary decided to try Improvest in market gilts because they saw the opportunity for rewards to be much greater than the considered risks,” he said.

“The results have been really astounding; it's been a super valuable resource for the producers we're working with to see the benefits of getting these gilts to have a more uniform pig population and bring more marketability to these animals. So, it's just been a tremendous opportunity just to work with the producers and the product as well,” Dr. Engle noted.

Dr. Engle describes the two-dose program and the visible difference he's seeing in the gilts.

“We talked about increased average daily gain as a major benefit. You can actually see it starting to happen after the first injection,” Dr. Engle said. “When you give the second injection, four or five days later you can physically see those animals start to develop a bigger belly and a bigger hindquarter. It's very visible across the barn, so it's a very easy, positive indicator of compliance,” he said.

Improvest is designed to suppress energy-intensive estrus development in gilts, which diverts that energy into growing the gilt as a market pig.

“Estrus development is taking a lot of energy. If you actually think about energy as a pie, there's only so much energy available, and we have to divert it to maintaining our bodies every day. We don't want to spend more energy developing a reproductive track if we can utilize that to grow as a market animal,” Dr. Engle said. “So, it's a really cool technology that I think is going to become more important as we talk about sustainable farming and decreasing the days to market, which is really important. We've seen a gilt get to market about 7 to 10 days earlier,” he exclaimed.

Thus, gilts are able to perform better than before with higher quantity and quality of meat, and it increases the uniformity of the pig population as a whole leading to economic benefits.

“One of the things we were talking about today was how do you increase profitability. Well, you can save money, but you can also increase the amount of revenue you're bringing in. So, this is one of those opportunities where you can decrease the amount of days on feed for these animals and get them to market closer together, but you're also going to be selling a heavier animal, which is really profitable,” Engle deduced.

Sponsored Article

Kyle Baldwin

Kyle is a student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign majoring in Environmental Sciences.

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.