Our vaccination program is an important part of our herd health & biosecurity. This is a controversial topic, as some people don’t vaccinate at all. If you don’t believe in vaccination, that’s fine- but we do!
Some of our piglets may become breeding stock, while others will be moved to our meat herd, where they’ll grow out for 12-18 months. Potential breeders receive a regular vaccination protocol, while meat pigs receive only their initial piglet vaccinations and worming. Withdrawal times are always adhered to in relation to slaughter, as required by law. Herd immunity is a thing on the farm. Most people don’t hesitate to vaccinate their dogs against parvo, lepto and bordetella… did you know pigs are vaccinated for variants of the same things as dogs?
Our main piglet vaccination is Rhinishield TX4, it’s given twice. The first time we give it with MycoFlex, the second time we give it with CircoFlex. Vaccines best for your area may vary, so it’s always smart to check with your farm vet, or your state vet!
We worm our pigs with three different wormers: Safeguard (liquid for goats, or top dress pellets for swine), Ivermectin, and Dectomax. We rotate wormers for best results (worming twice a year), and try to keep pigs on the move to keep parasite load down (rotating pastures).
How to give a shot? There are many techniques, but it takes practice. Each pig’s reaction to a shot is different. Some we bait with food, some we give when they are relaxed. We use a larger needle gauge with adults so that the shot can be given quickly.
We use the following needle sizes:
Piglets: 22 gauge 3/4″ or 20 gauge 1/2″, with 1cc TB syringes or 3cc luer lock syringes
Adults: 20 gauge 1/2 inch for subcutaneous injections, 16 gauge 1″ for intramuscular shots. Syringe sizes to have on hand: 3cc luer lock, 5 cc luer lock, 12 cc luer lock
We also use the Allfex Repeater gun, 50cc size. This is sometimes used with a slap shot, but only if we have a lot of pigs to vaccinate as a lot of vaccine/medicine is lost in the slap shot’s long tube.
Typical vaccination/worming schedule for a piglet growing into an adult breeder on our farm:
Dectomax wormer dosed for body weight, repeat dose in 10 days
6 months Farrowsure Gold 2cc (if a young boar that’s close to breeding. Females wait until they are breeding age. This is a reproductive vaccine for breeding swine. There’s no reason to give it if there’s not breeding taking place)
12 months Farrowsure Gold 2cc (If pigs are breeding age. This is a reproductive vaccine for breeding swine)
18 months Farrowsure Gold 2cc