This grant to assess the problems and solutions assocated with diarrhea on Guam hog farms was interrupted by two typhoons, one in July 2002 and the other in December 2003, and by the departure of the project coordinator, Ricardo Cruz Jr., for military service in Iraq in 2004.
However, a technique of elevating flooring under weaned pigs adopted by project cooperators Ben Cruz, resulted in a higher growth rate of pigs owing to cleaner conditions and a reduced incidence of diarrhea.
Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of piglet death and poor performance. Hog producers can become frustrated and discouraged when an entire litter is lost because of uncontrolled diarrhea. On Guam, no studies have been conducted on the isolation of bacteria that may cause diarrhea on Guam hog farms, and on trials have been conducted on comercial vaccines to prevent diarrhea.
Post-weaning diarrhea, another problem that occurs on Guam, may be prevented through with facilities like elevated flooring.
1. To conduct studies on the isolation of bacterial agents that cause diarreha in piglets on Guam.
2. To evaluate the use of elevated wire flooring for post-weaned piglets in the prevention of post-weaning diarrhea.
Instead of transferring weaned pigs to the traditional pens, with their wet, cold concrete floors, the project coordinator developed a design for improving the weaning facilities with woven wire floors elevated a foot over the existing growing pens. The design also included treatment tanks and nipple waterers to demonstrate group treatment of diarrhea.
The use of elevated floors for newly weaned piglets decreased the incidence of post-weaning diarrhea by 70%.
Educational & Outreach Activities
One field day was held for hog producers. In addition, extension agents and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff from around Micronesai visted the farm during a regional workshop on animal waste management.
The incidence of diarrhea among weaned piglets was decreased through the installation of wire-mesh flooring.
Hog producers now realize the need to adapt to better and proved designs for weaning facilities, and they recognize that incidence of disease can be decreased with better designed pens and facilities.
Piglet diarrhea is a worldwide problem among hog farms. Bue each individual hog producer has to come up with a set of preventative measures suitable to that operations. There are several guidelines that can be followed to control diarrhea, but each producers must conduct trials to evaluate the best managmeent practices for the operation.