Biosecurity standards on swine facilities can help improve production

Using proper washing, disinfection and drying procedures on your farm will help reduce microbial activity level, increase herd health and improve production.

On conventional swine farms there are everyday tasks that have to be completed in order to properly manage a swine unit. These tasks are integral to maintaining the desired level of productivity on your farm and should be routinely evaluated so that proper procedures and standards are being followed. As you review the biosecurity standards in place on your farm, don’t forget to look closely at the cleaning, disinfection and drying process of your farrowing rooms.

Washing, cleaning, disinfecting and allowing dry time for rooms in swine facilities is a routine step in pig production. Power washing cleans the area and removes organic matter from the previous residents. Cleaning helps remove the bacteria, viruses, molds and parasites that are a result of the last group of animals in that area and disinfection requires uses chemicals that destroy microbial life in the barn. Finally, allowing the area proper time to completely dry before loading the room with new animals, reduces the spread of disease to the new group of animals. Combining these practices decreases the amount bacteria and microbial activity in the room, which results in a lesser impact on the next group of pigs and in essence, improves productivity.

It is important to help employees fully understand the reason behind a complete washing, disinfection and drying process, and grasp certain techniques that can improve the washing skills. Helping employees connect the dots between proper washing techniques and improved animal health will help increase the productivity of the employee who is assigned the washing task. By taking a few moments to instruct employees in proper procedures and rewarding job well done, you can affect the health of your pigs, increase productivity and work to remove negative impacts on your herd.

As you review the biosecurity standards at your facility, it is imperative that appropriate washing, disinfection and drying protocols are in place. These procedures effect sanitation levels, prevent disease, influence growth rate and may decrease cost of production. Standard operating procedures for washing, disinfection and drying should be in place and employees should be trained in these production practices. By working to create the proper biosecurity standards and techniques for your facility, you may be able to positively influence the productivity for your farm.

For more information on biosecurity standards that can help improve herd health, contact Pork Educators Beth Ferry or Tom Guthrie. Learn more in Pork Quarterly.

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