MAY 29, 2017

| by PROHEALTH Consortium

Is it possible to determine how environmental parameters influence respiratory disease in grow-finish pigs?

It is not new to farmers that certain animal diseases can be triggered by too cold or too warm temperature in the barn or that poor water availability and humidity can predispose animals to illness. But so far there was a lack of tangible data on these relationships between farm environment, health and productivity. PROHEALTH aims at closing this gap by compiling integrated data-sets of measured farm environment parameters as well as documented health and productivity parameters for several different production diseases. Here we present first results from such a PROHEALTH study that determines the extent to which farm environmental ...

MAY 29, 2017

| by PROHEALTH Consortium

Similarities and specificities of gut microbiota of pigs and chickens

Gut microbiota is the ensemble of microorganisms living in the intestine of a human or animal hosts. In animals such as pigs or poultry it consists of around 1,000 different bacterial species. Considering that an average microbiota member has about 3,000 genes, the total gut microbiome is represented by about 3,000,000 genes, which exceeds the number of host genes by a factor of 100.

Gut microbiota plays an important role for its host. It may provide additional nutrients from feed which could otherwise not be digested by the host, it may provide vitamins or other specific metabolites and it can ...

MAY 29, 2017

| by PROHEALTH Consortium

Vitamin D requirements during exposure to coccidia

Skeletal health of fast growing broilers is an important issue, with implications for broiler welfare and farm profitability. From a nutritional standpoint, vitamin D supplementation is pivotal for promoting Ca and P utilization and bird skeletal integrity. Additional benefits may arise from increased vitamin D status, such as improved performance and improved efficiency of feed utilization. e limit set by the EU for vitamin D supplementation via the feed is 5000 IU/kg of feed. However, this level may be insufficient for obtaining the full range of its beneficial effects on broiler welfare and productivity, especially for modern fast growing broiler ...

MAY 29, 2017

| by PROHEALTH Consortium

Biosecurity in pig farms across Europe

Biosecurity measures are of great importance to prevent or limit the risk of animals becoming infected with pathogens. Biosecurity is a term used to describe management measures for the prevention of pathogens entering a farm (external biosecurity) or the spreading of pathogens within the farm (internal biosecurity). Improving the level of biosecurity is considered to result in a limited introduction and spread of disease, resulting in reduced morbidity and mortality rates, making biosecurity a tool in disease eradication programs as well as in daily health management.

In the context of the PROHEALTH project, production diseases on pig and poultry farms ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

What do consumers think about farm animal production?

Insights from a systematic literature review

The public are an important stakeholder at the end of the food chain, and as they are the end-users of food products, their opinions need to be taken into consideration in order to produce food that meets their needs. However, they are generally unfamiliar about production practices used in animal production.

Consumer views on production diseases are unknown

Two literature reviews on the public’s attitudes and willingness-to-pay for characteristics of animal products were conducted, including 80 and 54 studies respectively. Both reviews highlighted a research gap in relation to production diseases. In the willingness-to-pay literature, only four ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

Improving piglet survival: How can genetics and management contribute?

As we apply genetic selection for more prolific sows, the challenges for piglet survival increase; piglets are smaller and more vulnerable at birth, face greater competition for the vital early colostrum intake, and are thus more at risk of dying from hypothermia, starvation and crushing. To address these challenges, the PROHEALTH project is investigating different genetic and management interventions which might improve the vitality of the newborn piglet and the maternal behaviour of the sow in order to reduce mortality risk.

Genetic approaches

A collaborative study between Newcastle University and the JSR Genetics breeding company is looking for new neonatal and maternal ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

Does genetic selection for feed efficiency make pigs more susceptible to production diseases?

Results of three experimental studies conducted by PROHEALTH


A set of experiments of PROHEALTH was designed to investigate a hypothesis about genetic selection in pigs that has been repeatedly formulated, but so far was lacking scientific evidence: It was hypothesized that improved productive traits (e.g. growing fast or using feed efficiently) are gained at the expense of reduced robustness, i.e. reduced capacity of the animal to be in good health and to maintain its performance in suboptimal environments. The reasoning behind this hypothesis is that selection for productive traits might impact the metabolism of the animal in a way that ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by Prof Tim Benton

Food security and farming intensity

Sustainable Intensification of agricultural production, i.e. producing more from less, has been promoted as the way forward in meeting the challenges of global food security. This is relevant to the objectives of PROHEALTH, which focuses on sustainable control of production diseases in intensive pig and poultry production systems. Here Professor Tim Benton puts forward his views on how food production systems may look in the future. His suggestion is that Sustainable Intensification needs to be broadened by considering the production of higher quality, more sustainable, and even lower volumes of agricultural commodities. This is relevant to how pig and poultry ...

APRIL 21, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

PROHEALTH events in 2016: Conferences, national meetings and farmer training sessions.

Upcoming conferences, national meetings and training workshops

With PROHEALTH in its third year, exciting results are emerging from the scientific work-streams. Many of our project findings will be showcased at prominent European conferences in 2016. But knowledge from PROHEALTH will also be made available for farmers and vets at national level, through dedicated stakeholder workshops. These aim to ensure that the scientific outputs are communicated in a form that can be applied on the farm. PROHEALTH also has a training scheme called ‘Individual Pig Care’, which will be provided free of charge in 5 countries over the course of the project, ...