Ontario Pork - Completed Research

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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Completed Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals once a year. These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Jessica Fox at jessica.fox@swinehealthontario.ca

Completed Research

Epidemiology study: impact of simple nursery diet under commercial farming conditions - SIP Initiative

Project 14-008 - Researchers: Kees de Lange, Vahab Farzan

In a project funded both by Ontario Pork and Swine Innovation Porc, University of Guelph researchers demonstrated that a less expensive nursery diet (low complexity), had no adverse effect on growth rate and health of pigs at all production phases nor on carcass characteristic.

Nutritional strategies for improved market hog competitiveness - SIP Initiative

Project 14-009 - Researchers: James Squires, Ira Mandall, Julang Li

Feed cost is by far the greatest cost of pig production (65-70%) and growing-finishing pigs account for about 80% of feed consumed. The continued high cost of feed demonstrates the need to develop cost-effective feeding strategies for growing-finishing pigs to ensure the long-term...

Identifying the Cause of Death and Factors Associated with Hogs that Perish in Transit

Project 12-019 and 13-006 - Researcher: Kathy Zurbrigg

The actual cause of in-transit losses of swine is complex as they are likely the result of a combination of risk factors and situations the pigs may have been exposed to.  The commonly cited risks of high temperature and stocking density are part of the problem but do not fully explain all...

Evaluation of Compounding Iron-dextran with NSAIDs for Use in Piglets at Time of Castration

Project 13-003 - Researcher: Ron Johnson

As of July 1, 2016 the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs states that piglets must be provided with appropriate pain control during castration and tail docking. The timing of these procedures often coincides with iron supplementation for piglets, leading many producers...

Minimum duration of teat use required in first lactation to ensure optimal milk yield in second lactation

Project 13-001 - Researchers: Dr. Chantal Farmer (AAFC) and Dr. Bob Friendship, University of Guelph

With the combination of lean genetics and hyperprolific sows, producers may be faced with the challenge of first parity sows becoming too thin during lactation, which can reduce their future reproductive performance and longevity in the herd.  To alleviate this problem, producers...

Evaluation of analgesia efficacy in piglets undergoing castration and processing through the scoring of pain related behaviours

Project 14-006 - Researcher: Dr. Pat Turner

Facial behaviours such as ear position, are increasingly being used to assess pain in animals. The development of a facial behaviour scale could lead to an easy and quick way to help producers to determine subtle cases when an animal is in pain and needs treatment.

Relationship between feed, genetics, health, and growth performance up to market weight in pigs

Project 15-015 - Researchers: Brandon Lillie and Vahab Farzan, University of Guelph

Reduction of the pig production through novel feeding strategies is currently an active research topic.  A study by Kees de Lange that was conducted under controlled conditions at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, indicated that lower-cost, reduced animal-protein...

Impact of a specialized feeding regime for replacement gilts on lactation performance

Project 18-007- Lead Resesarcher: Robert Friendship, University of Guelph

Sow milk production is becoming increasingly important with the use of hyperprolific sows and resulting large litters. The use of a high fibre feeding program fed ad libitum can be utilized to control the growth of developing gilts without impairing subsequent lactation performance.

Canadian Health Claim Feasibility Assessment Report for Pork Products

Project:13-008 - Researchers: Krista Coventry-Nutrasource Diagnostics

Identifying possible opportunities to make health claims and the steps needed to position pork as a healthful and nutritious protein option may be one way to promote and increase domestic pork consumption. In particular a proven health claim to pork could be used to contest recent research...

Development of evidence-based mental health literacy program and emergency mental health response model for Ontario agriculture

Project 16-014 - Lead researcher: Andrea Jones-Bitton, University of Guelph

Farming is recognized as a stressful occupation both in the routine daily tasks and during an emergency. For livestock producers, disease outbreaks can have significant economic and emotional consequences stemming from the loss of production and the loss of animals through mortalities and the...

Benchmarking performance in Ontario swine nursery barns

Project 16-002 - Researchers: Robert Friendship, Terri O’Sullivan, Zvonimir Poljak, Vahab Farzan, Tim Blackwell

The overall conclusion of this work is that there is wide variation in nursery performance which suggests that there is opportunity for herds to improve. Likewise disease status varies considerably and there needs to be efforts made to improve the immune status of newly weaned pigs and to...

An investigation into the effects of in-feed zinc oxide on antimicrobial resistant bacteria

Project 13-011 - Lead Researcher: Bob Friendship

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacteria that is the leading cause of skin infections and pneumonia in people. The increase in drug-resistant bacteria such as Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have increased the burden on healthcare systems due to an inability to find an...

Assessing the efficacy of ketoprofen and meloxicam when mixed with iron dextran on pain relief following castration in piglets

Project 16-011-Lead researcher: Terri O’Sullivan

The Canadian Code of Practice for the Handling and Care of Pigs states that pigs are to receive analgesics (pain control medication) to control post-procedural pain. The pain control medications ketoprofen (Anafen®) and meloxicam (Metacam®), are approved for use in pigs in Canada. The...

Comparison of single timed artificial insemination (AI) in gilts using OvuGel-ELANCO (triptorelin acetate) or PG600-MERCK (eCG/pLH) to synchronize ovulation

Project 16-003 - Lead Researcher: Bob Friendship

Optimal sow fertility is during the 24-hour period before ovulation. Use of the ovulation synchronization protocols may be a good tool for producers looking for options to improve overall herd reproductive performance or reduce their time in the breeding barn

Nitrogen Requirements and Utilization in Growing Pigs: Research into reduced feed costs and environmental impact of nitrogen

Project 11-005 - Lead Researcher: Kees de Lange, University of Guelph

Feed costs are the single largest contributor to the cost of pork production.  After energy, amino acids and protein are the largest contributors to nutrient costs of pig diets. Researchers at the University of Guelph investigated the digestibility and efficiency of feeding growing pigs...

Establishing sensitivity and specificity of using rope samples (saliva) to test for PRRS virus antibodies

Project 17-016 - Lead Researcher: Dr. Tim Blackwell

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) causes disease and economic losses on swine farms. Producers strive to eradicate the virus if geographically feasible or “stabilize” the sow herd through vaccination or intentional field virus exposure. A cornerstone of any PRRS...