Research Could Help Improve Pork Producer's Bottom Line

CANADA - Research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc is expected to help improve the bottom line of pork producers by increasing the longevity of the sow herd, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 3 October 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The Prairie Swine Centre in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc has scheduled a series of workshops to outline research being conducted in the area of sow lameness, longevity and temperament.

Sessions will be held 8 October in Stratford, Ontario, 9 October in Lévis, Quebec and 23 October in Winnipeg.

Helen Thoday, the manager of contract research with the Prairie Swine Centre, says there's growing interest in longevity to improve the pork producers' bottom line.

Helen Thoday-Prairie Swine Centre

Like everything in pig production it's multi-factorial but the main areas we're looking at here are the genetic side and how that can influence the leg structure and also the weight of the sow and soundness.

We're also looking at the sow's environment and how that with the flooring type and them living in groups and how that can affect your lameness levels.

Also nutrition is a very important aspect, that we've got the diet balance right and the calcium and phosphorus levels right for strong bone structure.

The temperament again links in with all of that because we want to get the housing systems correctly managed so we reduce the amount of aggression in group sows.

Lameness can also occur where sows are fighting or slipping over trying to get away from a group of sows that are maybe arguing over a feeder.

This lameness workshop is going to target that information and make sure there's really practical outcomes that producers in the pig industry can take home and really start making differences on their farms tomorrow.

For more on sow lameness, longevity and temperament research or on the series of workshops visit or

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