Health Strategies in the Management of Pigs
Health strategies can be divided into three categories. First, there are strategies designed to live with endemic diseases. Generally, these are caused by pathogens that survive in the environment and are too difficult to eliminate, or they are ubiquitous organisms that generally cause little problem. The former are handled by maximizing immunity and minimizing the challenge, as outlined above. In the latter, disease flare-ups are often triggered by environmental-management deficiencies, which if corrected will restore the healthy state in the herd.
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Second, some pathogens can be eliminated. For example, Sarcoptes scabiei var suis can be eliminated from a herd using the strategic administration of agents such as ivermectin and doramectin. Alternatively, diseases such as transmissible gastroenteritis and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome can be eliminated from a herd by closing the herd to new introductions and purposely exposing all animals to the disease to create herd immunity. It is usually desirable in the longterm to eliminate the diseases, if possible and if it results in savings from reduced routine medication or vaccination.
Third, there are strategies to prevent pathogens from entering the herd. As herd size has increased, the emphasis in maintaining the population of animals free of certain diseases has increased in importance. Some key components of a biosecurity program include careful management of replacement stock with quarantine and monitoring; preventing entry of rodents, birds, and other animals; precautions to prevent disease transfer from trucks and fomites; and the restricted entry of people.
Culled from MERCK MANUAL
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