Originally posted to ONswine July 3, 2019 by Laura Eastwood, OMAFRA Swine Specialist
If so, the Prairie Swine Centre would like to recruit you to participate in a research project! The overall goal of the study is to determine whether the pattern of antibiotic use on farms is correlated with the prevalence of specific pig pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. The project will use both RWA and non-RWA farms, and is currently recruiting RWA farms located in Canada for the project.
The research trial will be conducted over a 2 year period, and the research team will need access to all pig treatment records, as well as fecal and manure sampling every 6 months (training will be provided). Reimbursement will be offered to each barn enrolled in the study for any incremental project-related costs.
If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact:
Dr. Bernardo Predicala
Research Scientist – Engineering
Prairie Swine Centre
Manure is more than a source of nutrient for your fields. It can be used as an indicator of feed efficiency and animal health. Next time you are with your herd, take a few minutes to observe your cow’s manure and wash some down in a sieve. You could be surprised of you will see and learn. Your herd nutritionist can help you make some adjustments to the cow ration in order for your animals to be healthy, efficient and productive.
Simple manure observations can tell a lot about rumen function and ration digestion. Taking a few minute on a regular basis to look at the manure excreted by your cows can help in identifying potential problems.
Read more in Evaluating a Cow’s Manure Output Can Provide You With Valuable Input!
Outline of changes effective February 1, 2019
Ontario has updated the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program to ensure the program works as it is intended to support farmers who lose livestock, poultry, or bees to predators.
- More ways to provide sufficient evidence
- A more independent and transparent appeals process
- Training for municipal investigators to assess predation
- Standardized pricing and premiums to better reflect market prices
Announcement of program updates effective February 1, 2019
A variety of farm fencing systems for confining or excluding various kinds and sizes of livestock is available today. Although most fencing types have many applications on the farm, there is often one type best adapted to a specific function. Read the OMAFRA factsheet Farm Fencing Systems that discusses the fencing systems available, their application and approximate costs.
Timing Spring Turn-out
Spring is in the air, and cattle and farmers alike are eager to start the grazing season. Timing that delightful move is critical, as spring grazing management sets up both yield potential of the pasture and the amount of gain achievable for calves and yearlings.
How early is too early?
Livestock should go out on pasture when grasses have fully developed three to four new leaves. Turning out earlier than this is very stressful on the plants. Perennial forages rely on carbohydrates stored in their root systems to fuel regrowth when they break dormancy (Figure 1). The plants do not refill those carbohydrate stores until they have enough leaf area to produce more sugar than they need to grow. By waiting until grasses have three to four fully developed new leaves, those plants are given a chance to put energy back into the roots. The plants will draw on those reserves again to recover from grazing. If cattle go out to pasture too early, the plants have not been able to refill their root reserves and there is no energy to draw on when grazing takes their leaves away. This early spring stress will reduce pasture yields for the rest of the grazing season. If livestock are turned out too early year after year, weeds that begin their growth later in spring than grasses may be able to out-compete the forage plants.
Read more in the OMAFRA article Timing Spring Turn-Out.
Cattle on pasture don’t always need housing, but they do need shelter from the elements. Windbreaks, either natural or constructed can provide that shelter. Read about natural and manmade windbreaks in Windbreaks Provide Shelter for Cattle.