Caring for your pigs and keeping them healthy
requires skills that you can quickly learn. Individual Pig Care makes it easier for you
to identify and evaluate sick pigs by using a classification system. In this system, A,
B, C, and E represent stages of worsening illness. We’ll get into the details about
each stage later. On your daily walk-throughs, you make sure everything is running smoothly
at the barn, pen, and pig-levels. During your daily pig-level evaluation, look at each and
every pig. If you sense something is wrong, trust your gut. Timing is key. The quicker
you spot a sick pig, the more likely you’ll be able to catch the illness at a treatable
stage. If you train your eyes to spend one to two seconds on each pig, you’ll learn
to spot the sick ones quickly and better care for your pigs. Take a close look at the head,
body fill, posture, whether they seem dehydrated or depressed, and how they are being treated
by the other pigs in the pen. Compare each pig in each pen to the ideal healthy pig.
Their nose should be pink and moist with no discharge, and their eyes should be bright
and alert. Healthy pigs breathe smoothly and effortlessly. Their bodies are full-flesh
and round, and they appear comfortable lying down, sitting, or standing. There should
be no manure staining down their backs, their coats should be smooth and shiny, and their
feet and joints should not be swollen. When pigs are healthy, they are able to move easily
around the pen. Now is your chance to put your skills into action and see how quickly
you can identify A, B, and C pigs based on this series of videos with descriptions. Watch
each of the three video screens and listen to which category is being described: A, B,
or C. At the end, select the screen that best matches the description you’ve just heard.
Be sure to look from head to tail and top to bottom before you choose.