Now is the time to be thinking of worming your pig herd, reminds Ian Watson, ABN's national pig specialist, who warns of the cost implications of harboring a worm burden. ABN is a pig and poultry feed producer in the UK. 

The result of not treating your herd for intestinal worm infestations is a potentially impaired performance, says Watson. "Growth rates and feed conversion can be majorly affected, potentially dropping by 10-13 percent in individual pigs."

Watson suggests that for every 0.1 change in feed conversion ratio between 40 to 100 kilogram live weight is equivalent to £1.50 per pig at today's feed prices or £3,450 per annum per 100 sows.

"The cost of including an in-feed wormer from ABN works out at around £1.25 per sow, which pales into insignificance compared to the potential financial loss at stake," says Watson.

He added that a further problem might be seen at the abattoir as a result of the migration of ascaris worm larvae (large,  round worm) causing liver condemnation as result of milk spot.

Watson recommends farmers speak to their vet to discuss a tailor-made anthelmintic program for their herd, "At ABN, we provide a biannual service of reminding customers on the value of in feed wormers by mail and at customer point of order through our Customer Support Center at Peterborough."

In most cases within a breeding herd, treating the sow is usually sufficient to keep on top of any potential worm issue, noted Watson, "since 'cleaning up' the sow will help improve the prospects of the piglet remaining worm free. Also it's a good practice for those producers buying in weaners to treat their pigs on arrival to ensure any worm burden does not drag down performance."