Inadequate home-mix diets blamed for lameness in growing pigs

Evidence linking three severe cases of lameness in growing pigs with the use of “inadequate” home-mix diets has prompted the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) to include a warning to producers in its latest pig disease surveillance report.

With the three cases occurring within a six-month period, APHA has moved quickly to highlight the dangers linked to the “inadequate supplementation” of home-mix diets.

The agency said that the recent cases emphasised the need for producers to “ensure the diets of rapidly-growing pigs are suitably supplemented and provide adequate vitamins, minerals and trace elements”.

The APHA report carries details of the problems which occurred in a batch of 16-week-old growing pigs, kept on a small indoor breeder/finisher unit. The case was referred to APHA Penrith to investigate evidence of ill thrift and lameness, with some pigs also having swollen joints.

“The pigs were fed a commercial diet with some home-mix feed for about two months after weaning and then changed to just the home-mix including soya and home-grown barley without mineral-vitamin supplementation,” reported APHA. “It was after this feed change that problems developed.”

The veterinary surgeon involved in the case duly advised “appropriate dietary changes” to address the problem. A follow-up review of the unit’s next batches of growers is planned.

Headline image, showing a pig with lameness, was provided to APHA by the attending vet

See full APHA report – home-mix diet details are on page 6

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