Farrowing Management Workshop
April 19-20, 2007
Southern Research and Outreach Center: Waseca, MN
Caring for the sow and her litter continues to be one of the most challenging areas in pork production. The numerous tasks required to ensure the overall well-being of piglets and sows immediately prior, during, and after farrowing are extremely important to ensure the health and well-being of animals. Economic and reproductive efficiency of entire swine production units can be directly tied to the ability of individuals to care for pigs and manage the farrowing unit correctly.
This two-day intensive course is designed to give participants an increased understanding of the factors involved in successful farrowing house management and task completion. The course is appropriate for people with a limited knowledge of pork production as well as veterans wishing to review the basics and stay abreast on recent developments. Topics that will be covered in the workshop include:
Prefarrowing Management: Preparing the sow and the farrowing quarters; proper environment; handling sows to reduce stress; inducing sows to farrow; biosecurity; giving injections
The Farrowing Process: Signs of impending farrowing; recognizing a normal farrowing; anatomy and physiology of farrowing; behavior of sow and piglets; when and how to use farrowing assistance
Swine Welfare Assurance: Introduction to the 9 care and well-being principals
Disease Prevention and Control: Identifying and treating piglet and sow health problems; prevention and control strategies; vaccination protocols; seeking professional assistance
Managing the Sow During Lactation: Normal sow behavior; establishing feed intake targets; maximizing feed intake; feed quality appraisal
Piglet Management - Birth to Weaning: Processing piglets; identifying and assisting disadvantaged piglets; castration; euthanasia of disadvantaged piglets; recordkeeping
Classroom instruction is provided on the first day of the program, lasting from noon - 9 pm. A hands-on session, conducted at swine research facilities, is conducted the second day of the program from 8 am to noon. The hands-on session incorporates numerous activities relating to material covered in the classroom portion of the course in order to maximize student learning and understanding. In addition, class participants will be automatically certified or recertified under the Pork Quality Assurance PQA) program by completing the course.
University of Minnesota faculty and educators provide instruction for the course, in addition to a guest practicing veterinarian. Cost of the program is $100 per person, and includes learning materials, lunches, breaks, instructor fees, and biosecurity clothing for hands-on training sessions. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Whitney, swine extension educator, at (507) 389-5541. Individuals wishing to register for the workshop should contact the Minnesota Pork Board at (507) 345-8814.