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You have your pigs, now what?

We are right in the middle of sale season, with a lot of live sales and open barns going on the last few weeks and upcoming weeks in Wisconsin, I thought I might share a little insight on what to do when you get home with your project. Some might be well educated in this topic, but every year there are new customers and showman that are in their first year in the swine project. Some may ask questions, while others may be afraid to. The livestock industry, more specifically the show industry, is ever-changing and even experienced breeders or showman always have something to learn along with teaching the younger generations.  
Man, have times changed just in the 20 years we have been involved in the show pig project. When we first started showing, we would get them home, fill the self feeder and turn them loose in a [ ]

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Buying Pigs–Are you ready at home?

There are 3 major stress times in a baby pigs life. First, the birthing process. Secondly , would be weaning and third and what we want to talk about today is when the show pig leaves that comfortable, secure warm nursery or chip barn is pulled away from his pen mates and sold. In all my years and I don’t have a statistic to quote but a lot of pigs are lost in this stage of production. What can we do to limit the stress and give this purchase every chance to flourish and become a high quality, competitive show pig? Lets discuss.
In this day and age of the show pig world it takes a tremendous amount of work to get one ready to sell. They have been pampered when it comes to facilities, nutrition and care and rightfully so. So how do we handle this new purchase?
First, are your [ ]

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Transitioning Piglets

We all know the struggle of weaning pigs, getting them on feed and trying to avoid hiccups along the way. Of course, when getting those day-one shots in, iron dextran injection is at the top of the list. If you have a vaccination protocol, making sure those are done at the appropriate times is important, too. But what do you do when you’re nearing the age of weaning them? Do you start them on pellets or ground feed in the crate? Do you wean to the nursery and then start them on either pellets or ground feed? In talking to customers, friends and other breeders, everyone has their own way of doing things and knows the best fit for their operation.
What I like to recommend and how we try to start ours is with pellets in the crate. We use the ESP Phase 2 pellet.We start with sprinkling pellets [ ]

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Farrowing House Environment- Keeping them Comfortable!

As we are getting in to the early stages of farrowing our 2019 show pig crop, sometimes we need a reminder how important the environment for the farrowing house is. Keeping both the sows and the piglets comfortable is one of our top priorities, and because they require different things, can be slightly challenging. Keeping the environment ideal is just as important and matching up matings and the diets they get fed throughout their life!
Keeping the temperature at an ideal spot for both the sows and the piglets is probably the biggest struggle for most people. Piglets like it warmer the first 3 or so days of life, around that 85 degree mark, where sows are most comfortable around 60-65 degrees. To keep both comfortable as best we can, we keep our barn around 68-70 degrees. We do this with both an LB White Heater under the tarped room, and [ ]

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Thanks for letting ESP be part of your success!