Aside from proper feeding, a consistent swine deworming schedule is also key in your pigs’ growth, development, and overall health.
What is swine deworming?
Deworming is the process of removing worms from the digestive system, particularly from the stomach, intestine and liver. Also done on other animals, deworming makes them more resistant to diseases. It helps the animal grow faster, perform better and produce better meat.
One of the most common and also the most costly parasites in piga are pig worms, or internal pig parasites. Found in the pig’s digestive tract, bloos stream, kidneys, liver, or lungs, they can be harmful to pigs if left unchecked and untreated. These pig worms will rob the animal of the essential nutrients it needs to gain weight, stay healthy, and grow. It also causes discomfort to the animal, which then results in more days on feed and more financial investment on your part.
Symptoms of intestinal worms in swine
Thankfully, it’s possible to overcome intestinal worms but to fight them, it’s important to recognize the symptoms. They are often tricky to spot, so be sure to keep an eye on pigs when it is warm and humid.
Symptoms of pig worms include the following:
- Slow weight gain
- Poor feed conversion
- Coughing without fever or other signs of respiratory infection
- Lethargic appearance (hunching, dry skin, droopiness)
- Anemic, pale coloring of the skin
- Worms in feces
Benefits of regular deworming in pigs
With the threat of pig worms, it’s important that deworming must be done consistently and correctly. The benefits of this practice include:
- Improvement in average daily weight gain
- Improvement in food conversion ration
- Reduced number of liver condemnations
- Reduced susceptibility to respiratory diseases like pneumonia
- Better overall health and welfare of swine
- Minimized contamination of the pig environment with worm eggs
How often should pigs be dewormed?
Because of intestinal worm reproduction, it may be hard to keep the pigs’ living environment completely worm-free but with proper care, you can keep the pigs free from intestinal worms.
First off, it’s important to have a working relationship with your veterinarian who can help you develop a protocol that suits the needs of your stock. The vet will also work with you on options on how to deworm them, whether it’s oral or via injection.
The general rule is that adult pigs (12 months and older) should be routinely dewormed at least twice a year, usually every 6 months. Your breeding herd (pregnant gilds and sows) should be dewormed 2 to 3 weeks before farrowing to prevent newborn piglets from becoming infected. Younger pigs, who are more susceptible to worms, require more consistent deworming so they should be treated starting at 8 weeks, then every 2 months.
If raising pigs for market, take note of the withdrawal period of the dewormer you will be using. The withdrawal period is how long it takes for the pig’s system to clear the deworming medication from tissues. After the recommended period and no product remains in the pig’s body, it can be taken to market.
To learn more about how to care for the health of your pigs, feel free to browse the website for related articles: https://unahco.com/news-events/