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Worldwide productivity results in grower/finisher and adult pigs

Colin Cargill, BVSc, PhD
Research Leader, Pig and Poultry Production Institute, Roseworthy Campus, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Introduction
Herd managers often overlook or underestimate the severity of clinical signs of mange in growing pigs, but even subclinical mange can be a cause of reduced reproductive efficiency in breeding herds.

In studies in which growth rate in mange-infected and mange-free pigs was measured over more than 12 weeks (from <20 to >60 kg liveweight), mange suppressed growth rate up to 11.8% and reduced feed utilisation efficiency by up to 12%.
Reduced feed utilisation also has been correlated with rubbing and scratching. Reductions in growth rate in groups of pigs appear to be related to the average dermatitis score (ADS) for the group at slaughter (Cargill et al, 1997; Cargill and Davies, 1999).
Damage to pen structures and carcasses also must be included in the economic effects of mange infestation. The effects of mange in sows range from reduced litter size and weight, and reduced viability and growth rates in suckling pigs, to increased abnormal behaviours such as biting, rubbing, and damage to pen structures.
Heavy lice infestations will result in anaemia in young pigs and may affect growth rate and feed conversion efficiency.

The Value of IVOMEC Premix

Fattening Pigs, Germany
The profit margin in a large fattening unit with subclinical mange and ascarid problems was increased by 37% per pig from use of IVOMEC Premix.
Six lots of 600 to 700 weaner pigs (25-26 kg) were divided into two treatment groups:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Premix

Pigs were penned in groups of 12, and monitored for 137 days. Liquid feed was provided to all pigs 3 times each day and all pigs were weighed in and out of the trial.

No mites were detected in treated pigs at slaughter.
Less than 1% of treated pigs had milk spots at slaughter; <5% of pens were positive for ascarid eggs versus 8.8% of controls. Pigs treated with IVOMEC gained more weight than untreated animals and had a net profit per animal of DM 3.18 over the control group (Table 1).

— Matthes and Rehbock, 1998

Table 1. Summary of infection levels, growth rates (kg), and economic data for pigs treated with IVOMEC Premix and untreated pigs.
Table 1.
*Based on carcass weight improvement and reduction of pig losses.

Fattening Pigs, Sweden
Feeding IVOMEC Premix to growing pigs reduced the number of days fattening pigs took to reach market weight by 5.5%.
324 parasitized 12-week-old pigs weighing between 20 and 30kg were divided into two treatment groups based on farm size and litter weight:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Premix

Pigs were randomly allocated to pens; faecal samples were examined for worm eggs and ear scrapings were examined for mites. Pigs were examined again after slaughter and the number of days taken to reach 110 kg liveweight was recorded.

Ascarid eggs were present in faecal samples from untreated pigs on all sampling days during the trial.
Ascarid eggs were present in pigs treated with IVOMEC only on the day treatment began and 90 days later; samples taken 41 and 69 days after treatment were negative.
A limited number of ascarid eggs were found in the group treated with IVOMEC towards the end of the grow-out period but remained significantly less (p<0.05) than the control group at all post-treatment samplings. The average dermatitis score for untreated pigs was >1.5, indicating severe mange. As a contrast, the group treated with IVOMEC had cleaner carcasses (ADS= 0.34, a difference of 81% as compared with untreated pigs) and reached market weight 5.7 days earlier (Table 2).

— Nilsson et al, 1994

Table 2. Infection and production data for pigs fed IVOMEC Premix at the commencement of the fattening period.
Table 2.

Fattening Pigs, Brazil
IVOMEC Premix increased weight gain and feed conversion efficiency in pigs with a mild mange infestation.
A total of 128 pigs were randomly allocated to two treatment groups:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Premix

Pigs were allocated to pens on the basis of sex and weight and were examined for mites and worm eggs prior to treatment and during the trial. No worm eggs were detected in either treated or untreated pigs at any time during the trial. Mites were only detected on the day of treatment in one pig in the treated group and in one pig in the untreated group 28 days later. Only 14% of the pigs given IVOMEC Premix had positive dermatitis scores at slaughter compared with 100% of the untreated pigs.
Pigs fed IVOMEC Premix had significantly (p<0.05) higher feed efficiency (+6.3%) and increased weight gain (2.1%) than untreated controls (Table 3).

— Roppa et al, 1996

Table 3. Summary of productivity improvements in pigs given IVOMEC Premix in-feed.
Table 3.

Fattening Pigs, Canada
Feeding IVOMEC Premix to growing pigs increased growth rates, improved feed conversion efficiency, and reduced the number of days pigs took to reach market weight.
A total of 168 pigs (8 to 16 weeks old) were used to evaluate the efficacy of in-feed ivermectin and its influence on productivity when administered to parasitized pigs. Pigs were allocated by restricted randomisation on initial weight within sex to two treatment groups:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Premix

The pigs were weighed and the feed was weighed back on Day 28 and at 28-day intervals until the pigs reached the target market weight of approximately 110kg. Ear scrapings and faecal samples were collected. Faecal samples and one ear were collected from each animal at slaughter.

Pigs in the treated [with IVOMEC] group took an average of 3.3 fewer days to reach final weight.

Average daily gain (ADG) was improved in the IVOMEC treated group by 26 g/day (p = 0.0794), which represents a 3% improvement. The pigs in the treated group took an average of 3.3 fewer days to reach final weight. The IVOMEC group had a 3% lower feed/gain (F/G) ratio. On Day 28 and at the end of the study when pigs reached market weight, control pigs continued to be infested (17% and 50%, respectively), while the IVOMEC group remained mite-free. All faecal samples were negative for nematode eggs.

— Garcia et al, 1998

Growing Pigs, United States
Prefarrowing treatment of mange-infested sows and post-weaning treatment of pigs with IVOMEC resulted in better growth rates in grower pigs.
245 pigs from 42 sows treated prefarrowing were injected with IVOMEC when moved from the nursery (weaner rooms), to the finishing barn. Their growth rate was compared with 245 untreated pigs from 42 untreated sows. Overall, the results demonstrate the value of effective mange control in sows and their progeny. Pigs treated with IVOMEC grew 6.5% faster than untreated controls which would have taken 8.6 days to reach the same slaughter weight. Better performance of treated pigs resulted in increased financial return per sow on average of US$84 to US$115 per sow per year (Table 4).

— Arends et al, 1990

Table 4. Summary of growth performance data (kg) of pigs born to sows treated with IVOMEC and injected with IVOMEC.
Table 4.
*difference between IVOMEC and untreated pigs was significant (p<0.05)

Growing Pigs, United States
Mange-infested growers that received IVOMEC showed improved productivity.
108 pigs naturally-infested with mange were divided into two treatment groups:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Injection

All pigs were weighed at 4-week intervals throughout the trial.

All pigs in both treatment groups were positive for mange mites on the day of treatment. Pigs treated with IVOMEC were all mange-free at trial completion, but 25 out of 54 (46.3%) of untreated pigs were positive for mange. The IVOMEC group gained an average of 4.8kg (5.8%) more weight than the Control group (Table 5).

— Alva-Valdes et al, 1986

Table 5. Summary of growth performance data (kg) for pigs treat- ed with IVOMEC Injection and untreated pigs.
Table 5.

Growing Pigs, Australia
Treatment of mange-infested pigs at weaning with either IVOMEC or DECTOMAX gave improved growth rates, but IVOMEC performed better in the face of heavy infestation.
A total of 180 pigs were randomly allocated into three treatment groups at weaning, based on bodyweight and evidence of mange infestation:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — DECTOMAX Injection
  • Group 3 — IVOMEC Injection

Pigs were marketed at 90 to 105kg liveweight.
Pigs were examined for mites the day before treatment and for clinical signs of mange at treatment and up to slaughter. Mange infestation in pigs treated with IVOMEC resolved more rapidly than in pigs treated with DECTOMAX. Pigs treated with IVOMEC grew faster (1.6%) than pigs treated with DECTOMAX and significantly faster than untreated pigs (6.6%).

The presence of mange mites at 16 days after treatment with IVOMEC was significantly less as compared to DECTOMAX (Table 6). In this well replicated study, IVOMEC outperformed DECTOMAX in body weight gain (Table 7), which could be related to the faster and better efficacy of IVOMEC against mange mites, particularly under high field challenge in the period immediately after treatment.

— Cargill, 1999

Table 6. Summary of infestation data for treated and untreated groups: prior to treatment and 121 days later.
Table 6.
Average dermatitis score at slaughter: 1* = mild mange; 2/3† = severe.

Table 7. Summary of growth performance data (kg) for pigs treated with IVOMEC Injection or DECTOMAX Injection and untreated pigs.
Table 7.
*Days to market based on slaughter liveweight of 100 kg.

IVOMEC improves growth rate in growing pigs

Growing Pigs, Brazil
Treatment with IVOMEC of 20kg pigs having minimal mange and low worm burdens resulted in improved growth rate and feed efficiency and increased profit.
180 male and female pigs were divided into three treatment groups:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — Levamisole injection and diazinon spray
  • Group 3 — IVOMEC Injection

Pigs were treated at the start of the fattening period (2 months of age) and weight gain, feed/gain ratios, and economic returns were compared among the 3 groups for 70 days.

Average weight gains during the 70 days for pigs treated with IVOMEC were 2.6kg/pig higher than for pigs treated with levamisole and diazinon (49.2kg/pig vs 46.6kg). Pigs treated with IVOMEC required 235 to 310g less feed to return 1kg of gain than pigs in the other groups. The net profit gained by treating pigs with IVOMEC was US$1.87 to US$2.14 per head.

— Roppa et al, 1988

The net profit gained by treating pigs with IVOMEC was US$1.87 to US$2.14 per head.

The Value of IVOMEC Injection in Breeding Herds

Breeding Herd, United States
Prefarrowing treatment increases weaning weight of piglets.
A total of 84 sows with natural mange infestations were randomly allocated to two groups:

  • Group 1 — Untreated (Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Injection

All groups were dewormed with dichlorvos (ATGARD®) 7 days before farrowing and their feed consumption recorded while housed in the farrowing house.

No mites were found on either treated sows or weaners, but all groups of untreated pigs were positive for mange mites. Treated sows consumed significantly less feed per piglet weaned than untreated sows. Litters from treated sows were significantly heavier than those from untreated sows (Table 8).

— Arends et al, 1990

Table 8. Summary data for feed consumption in sows and litter weights.
Table 8.
*/†difference significant (*p<0.07; †p<0.05).

Breeding Herd, France
Prefarrowing injections of IVOMEC were associated with increased birth weight, increased weaning weight and a higher weaning percentage.
Sows on 41 farms were randomly divided into two treatment groups:

  • Group 1 — Non-ivermectin anthelmintic and acaricide spray (positive Control)
  • Group 2 — IVOMEC Injection

The progeny of sows treated with IVOMEC had heavier birth weights and weaning weights at Day 27. The weaning percentage for pigs born to sows treated with IVOMEC was greater than with the other treatments (Table 9).

— Forgues et al, 1988

Table 9. Summary data for litter weight and percentage weaned.
Table 9.

IVOMEC improves production efficiency in breeding herds

 

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