2013: Danish farmer lb Borup Pedersen is not an organic pig farmer, but a regular, intensive pig farmer. When he replaced GMO feed with non-GMO pig feed in 2011, the health of his pigs improved immediately. Danish pig farming is known as the most efficient, with an average of 30 weaned pigs per year per sow, but with antibiotic use of only 50mg/kg. The influence of big biotech is far less in Denmark than in other parts of the world.
I quote the itemized effects from Mr. Pederson:
- Within 2 days diarrhoea virtually disappeared in the farrowing house, whereas before we had used 50-100 ml Borgal / day.
- Since switching, we have not experienced death from bloat in sows or death by ulcers, as opposed to minimum 1 per month previously. (36 sows died due to stomach related sickness over the last two years before switching)
- No sows have died through loss of appetite, whereas 2 sows died from this cause last year.
- Even without washing between farrowings, diarrhoea does not now reappear. Previously when we failed to wash between sows, we noticed more diarrhoea.
- Previously we have struggled with diarrhoea in first layer sows, we do not have this problem any more!
- Two years ago when the diarrhoea was as its worst, we had months with nearly 30% dead in the farrowing house. At that time it was impossible to find sows that could nurse piglets.
- Before it was unusual to have a sow with 13 piglets weaned. The average was about 10.5 per sow plus spare mothers. Now we are getting over 12 piglets on average weaned and 14 piglets weaned per sow is common. We have fewer nursing sows, simply because the sows are milking better and eating more.
- Sows farrow better and we have 0.3 more live births per sow, of which 0.2 is gained from fewer stillborn. Now we have 14.9 liveborn and 1.6 stillborn, averaged over the past 7 months.
- The piglets weaned are stronger and more evenly sized.
- Man-hours are reduced by 20-30 hours per month, partly by washing less and because everything is easier.