|By goGreen | June 7, 2012|
Most local piggery owners underestimate the value of clear, potable water in their farms. We can all learn a lesson or two from Australian piggeries.
In the old days, our grandparents used to tell how they get clean and clear drinking water from wells, springs or creeks. This is hardly heard of today. Thirty years ago, the thought of buying water from plastic bottles appeared strange and preposterous. Today, with the onslaught of gastro-intestinal and skin diseases, drinking mineral water is almost akin to brushing one’s teeth.
Continuous pollution in our environment has led many scientists to cascade this healthy practice of drinking clear and potable water not only to humans but to pigs as well. After all, the logic is sensible: if we raise healthy pigs, pork consumers will be healthier as well since we’re all intrinsically part of the complex food chain.
In Adelaide, South Australia, pig growers have started to adapt the system called Grand Water Treatment to both pigs and humans. An international pork journal described the system as a unique, sustainable technology that returns the natural properties to water because it uses the scientific principle of magnetic resonance.
Wayne Slack, the general manager of Grand Water Technologies (Australia) was quoted as saying: “The patented process splits the water molecule clusters into smaller groups, changing the macro-molecular clusters on a permanent basis. In return, this reduces water surface tension and increases water solubility and dissolved oxygen. These three changes, within water, result in various benefits.
“These range in improvements in livestock health and reduced mortality rates to reducing or eliminating the need for chemicals in commercial boilers, to large reductions in odor in waste water systems.”
The most significant change, that Grander makes to any water environment, Slack said, is the change in bacterial action. Such change can be seen in two particular areas, drinking water and waste water systems. “The Grander water units attached very simply to the main water supply allowing water to run through the unit. Specialized units are used for effluent water and other polluted areas. The units require less maintenance, use no chemicals, electricity or magnets and are not a filter.”
Mr. Slack said the economics of the Grand Water Treatment System is one of the redeeming features of this technology. In Australia, he said pig farmers who adapt the technology experience their return on investment after 12 months.
The said article quoted an Australian piggery owner, Mr. Graham, who said that since they have adapted the Grander Water, their pigs had an average daily gain of 40 grams. “On the production side. I have found the sows in the farrowing crates are drinking more, eating more, giving me better weaning weights and better sow conditions. Sow discharge~ after farrowing have all but ceased. I am getting fewer returns to service. The litter sires are more even, litter weight is up about 200 grams a piglet.”
Another important issue to contend with as far as water and piggeries are concerned is piggery effluent-the way water and waste flow in the whole piggery farm. According to www.ag.arizona.edu, “piggery effluent represents a significant source of nutrient runoff, fecal contamination and zoonotic disease…” Scientists say the issue is actually two-pronged: one pertains to the education of farmers regarding the health hazards of unsanitary practices due to improper water management and the economics of alternative systems for waste management.
An instructive point in the Australian experience is how the government closely monitors water quality in their agricultural activities. Their Environment Water Protection (Water Quality) Policy aims to protect South Australia’s water and pollutants. For example, they have a code of practice for milking shed effluent guidelines for the establishment of cattle feedlots, reclaimed water irrigation of pasture for grazing of cattle and pigs and guidelines for the establishment of intensive piggeries.
The message is clear: never underestimate the importance of clean water in raising pigs. Neglect in this important area of pig production can snowball into graver problems, which when unattended can damage or ultimately destroy our piggery operations. Think about this, every time your pigs drink or you clean their pens.
SOURCE: Agri Business Week