This phase of production involves the major feed consumption stage and offers the greatest opportunity for improving feed efficiency and savings. Numerous “silent profit robbers” can greatly affect the economics of growing and finishing hogs. Those who keep accurate records of average daily gain, feed efficiency, days to market and cost per pound of gain are more able to detect these “silent profit robbers”. Poor average daily gain is the number one indicator of problems and reduced profitability.
Here are some of the most common causes of poor gains:
- unbalanced rations
- moldy grains
- poor environment
- severe weather
- poor quality water
- Keep pigs together as much as possible from nursery to growing and finishing facility.
- Sort hogs as little as possible, put sick hogs in a sick pen at the first sign of sickness.
- Keep pigs out of draft.
- Provide adequate space per pig.
- Place feeders and waterers away from sleeping area.
- Check feeders and waterers frequently.
- Treat for external parasites as needed.
- Veterinary medical advice should be sought with regard to proper methods of vaccination and other disease control measures.