Ambassador: Ireland

Publication date: May 2020 | Theme: Health management

Challenges: Use of slaughter data to improve health outcomes

Feedback data (lung and liver) from the slaughter plant was incorporated into a dashboard system to look at various production and management parameters on the farm including: ePM herd performance figures, biosecurity assessment, pluck (lungs and liver), tail check and antimicrobial benchmarking. The main variables used for the dashboard are imported into an excel database used to produce a report which allows for benchmarking and setting targets. The main identified issue was the high levels of pleurisy and pericarditis which the farmer did not realise was a problem. Thus, the dashboard changed his focus into control of these by better batch management, reduced mixing and creating separated streams for weak pigs. This resulted in improved performance via improved pig health and associated reduced use of antibiotics. Weaner ADG has increased from 433 to 486g/day.

The cost for the farmer is almost zero. These are activities normally carried out by the vet or advisor, but the integration of the information allows for benchmarking and setting targets. The particular benefits can be calculated by the Teagasc Advisor but in the case of this farmer, the main identified issue was the high levels of pleurisy and pericarditis. He thought he was not that bad in this area. The main benefit was providing information which enabled the farmer to focus his efforts where the problem was (a problem that he had not considered until he used the dashboard system). This has resulted in improved herd performance via improved pig health and associated reduced use of antibiotics. Weaner ADG has increased from 433 to 486g/day.

Further information will be available on this page in the near future.  In the meantime, to access more details, contact RPIG (Ireland): Ciaran Carroll