Wilson's Prairie View Farm
Wilson’s Prairie View Farm is a super-high-health, 800-sow specialty farm in Burlington, WI. Raising high-health pigs for research, breeding stock for commercial producers, and high-quality, natural pork for Wilson Farm Meats (their own local processing plant) are the primary goals for this unique, well-managed operation. Farming since the 1870’s, this 6th-generation family-farm has a proud tradition of serving their customers and the industry with high-health, high-quality pigs and pork products.
Unlike most commercial production units, Wilsons do not utilize pre-farrowing vaccines for E.Coli and other enteric diseases. “We utilize a minimal amount of vaccines and antibiotics in our production system,” explains Scott Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Prairie View Farm. “Our pigs are free of most diseases common to the industry, and we need to maintain naïve status for most of our research clients. Our pigs go through extensive health screening to satisfy our customers’ needs. Limiting the use of vaccines and antibiotics is a key component to our production system.”
Preventing scours in the farrowing rooms can be a challenge in the absence of pre-farrowing vaccines. Wilsons address this challenge with hygiene. All-in, all-out utilization of the farrowing rooms combined with power-washing, disinfecting and getting the rooms absolutely DRY before reloading with clean, washed sows are the critical components to success. DRYGIENE™ plays a key role in this process. Katie Burdick, Senior Research Coordinator explains: “After washing and disinfecting the farrowing rooms, we go through with a leaf-blower with a center suction-tube stuck into the bag of DRYGIENE™ being pushed in a feed cart. We blow a light coating of DRYGIENE™ over every surface in the room to ensure everything is dry. Down-time helps, but most times we can’t wait an extra day to fill farrowing rooms or else sows are farrowing in gestation. DRYGIENE™ enables us to get those rooms clean and bacteria-free so we can load the next group with minimal down-time.”
Wilsons’ use of DRYGIENE™ goes beyond just blowing the farrowing rooms. “We apply DRYGIENE™ directly to each piglet at birth, bathing it in a small tub to make sure the pig and navel cord are completely coated”, explains Katie. “The piglets warm quicker, nurse much quicker, and their navels dry up much faster because of DRYGIENE™. We also apply DRYGIENE™ daily to the farrowing mats to keep them dry and free of bacterial growth.”
How about the results? Anna Rothering, Farm Manager – Animal Research Operations comments: “Since implementing DRYGIENE™ our incidence of scours is greatly reduced. We only get into trouble when we fail to follow our wash, disinfect, DRYGIENE™ protocol. It used to be necessary to treat piglets with antibiotics for scours and scours prevention. With DRYGIENE™ we have eliminated those antibiotic injections from our standard operating procedures.” Anna lists numerous benefits of DRYGIENE™ use, including reduced scours, reduced antibiotic use, reduced incidence of swollen hocks and strep infection at weaning, reduced incidence of navel infections, reduced incidence of umbilical hernias and lower ammonia levels in the barns.
“DRYGIENE™ is definitely a product with a high return on investment,” explains Anna. “We’re creating a more hygienic environment for the pigs, leading to fewer problems downstream. We are able to market many more full-value pigs for each bag of DRYGIENE™ used in our operation.” Notes Bill Ehlen, long-time production manager at Wilsons, “We’ve tried towel-drying piglets, baking rooms, other drying powders and many different protocols over the years. Nothing works like DRYGIENE™! We also use it in our trailers, nurseries and wean-to-finish barns. It’s a great product!”
Badger Pork, LLC
Badger Pork, LLC is a 2000-sow production system in Wisconsin. The farm utilizes multi-site production and wean-to-finish barns for their production system. Like many of our customers, Badger Pork utilizes DRYGIENE™ in multiple facets of their operation.
Mark Beisbier, Partner and Operations Manager for Badger Pork explains: “We began using DRYGIENE™ in our farrowing rooms to dry piglets at birth. At first, we were just putting a little on the mats as the sows were farrowing. Later we began making a conscious effort to make sure every piglet was bathed in DRYGIENE™ at birth. We noticed an immediate benefit. We found that piglets warm-up and begin nursing much faster. Navels dry up much quicker. Scours in our farrowing rooms are all but non-existent.” The benefits of DRYGIENE™ use did not end there. “We began to notice at weaning that we weren’t finding pigs with swollen hocks,” comments Mark. “Normally there would be a handful of pigs at each weaning with some amount of hock swelling due to strep infection. After we began diligently using DRYGIENE™ on each pig at birth and applying it to farrowing mats, we noticed that a swollen hock at weaning became pretty rare.”
Badger Pork also sees the benefits of DRYGIENE™ in their wean-to-finish barns. Mark further explains: “We take individual pig-care very seriously in our production system. Attention to detail, providing a perfect environment, taking care of each pig’s individual needs is key to high-performance and low wean-to-finish mortality. We use DRYGIENE™ on the floors and wean-to-finish mats to help keep the newly-weaned pigs dry and comfortable. We also see a big improvement in air-quality with a noticeable reduction in humidity and ammonia.” Always one to think outside the box, Mark found another economic benefit to DRYGIENE™ use in their wean-to-finish barns. “We discovered that the humidity and ammonia reduction that results from DRYGIENE™ application in our wean-to-finish barns allowed us to reduce our minimum ventilation rates. The resulting cost-savings from using less gas to heat the barns provided a great return on our DRYGIENE™ investment!” One final point Mark makes about the benefits of using DRYGIENE™, “We are marketing more full-value pigs. We have fewer hock issues and strep infections, larger pigs at weaning and have also noticed a reduction in market-pigs with umbilical hernias.”
An All-Natural Product
Besides the obvious economic benefits of DRYGIENE™, Badger Pork also appreciates the fact that DRYGIENE™ is an all-natural product, made in the USA from 100% US-sourced ingredients. “In this day and age with PED and the risk of foreign-animal-disease transmission, we do everything we can to keep foreign-sourced and foreign-manufactured material out of our barns,” adds Mark. With a number of other drying powders available, Mark understands what makes DRYGIENE™ number one. “Nothing beats DRYGIENE™ for absorption, ammonia-suppression and bacteria-reduction. It also doesn’t have the sickening smell of some powders, which gets pretty old if you work in the barns every day! There really isn’t another product that can compete with DRYGIENE™.”