Now Where Did These Come From to Infect My Hogs?

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Bryant RedHawk, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    For everyone just getting started in raising any live stock, as we are. The one thing no one has ever mentioned to us or even written about in husbandry articles we have read. I have read over 200 articles and scientific papers on raising hogs and specifically on raising our Guinea Hogs, in none of these were the issues of diseases or parasites mentioned. Sadly, these two subjects didn't even enter my mind, until it happened and I started reading up specifically on diseases and other problems. The issue we currently have is Parasites, in our case it is Haematopinus suis commonly known as the Hog Louse or Pig Louse.

    We bought our breeding stock from closed herd operations, three different ones to ensure we had as much distance, genetically, as possible in this endangered species we decided to raise. None of the breeders we purchased from even mentioned that parasites could be a problem to watch out for. Once we found out we had an infestation, by doing our routine ear check/ belly rub, calls were made to our extremely helpful breeder hog providers and they all said "I've never had that problem", none of them could even give us a method of eradication other than using poisons.

    We do not want to put any stress on our livestock, we use no poisons on our land, so if we could find a way to address this issue without having to resort to poisons all the better. Calls went out to determine just how these lice could have suddenly appeared on our healthy hogs. Short of it is, these lice only live on hogs, the lice die if away from a host for two days and they don't have wings. This means, one of our hogs had them when we brought them home, or we inadvertently brought them home from the county fair we attended this year to meet other hog breeders and show animal people. The county fair doesn't allow infected animals on the grounds and every animal goes through an inspection and certification process before being shown, so it seems the lice wouldn't have come from there. More calls to our breed providers and none of them acknowledged that they might have had an infestation, so we are in the dark as to exactly where the bugs came from. We will be purchasing disposable coveralls and shoe covers for any more "visits" to other places to see animals. We will build a confinement pasture just for new arrivals, since we will be adding at least two more hogs to our breeding stock. No more trusting that a closed herd is insurance against big issues.

    What we do know now is how to treat the infestation with non-poison methods. In one day we have good results but we will continue to keep on top of this problem until it is absolutely gone. Vegetable oil works, Mineral Oil works, both will eradicate the nymph and adult stages, eggs are not effected by anything, not even the poisons so we will keep treating until all the eggs can either be removed from the hairs they are glued to or hatch and get wiped down with oil which does kill them by suffocation. Unfortunately the only way to insure no re-infestation is to spray down the whole pen area, all the trees, the hog house, the feed trough, the watering pool and pans, fence and posts, everything the hogs come in contact with. The spray is permethrin, unfortunately it has to be used since it is the only way to insure every possible nook and cranny is treated. Fortunately it is an organic and is relatively safe for the hogs and us along with our other animals. Lesson learned, if you are getting into any animal husbandry don't forget to learn about any and all problems that the critters could come up against especially diseases and parasites. We have treated our hogs; Adam, Eve and Lillbit twice now with the vegetable oil, the adult and nymph lice are gone but we will continue treatments for a month while I segregate them from the current pasture, treat it at least three times and then move them back. We are still in the process of building pasture paddocks and eventually we will have the ability to move them once a week for three months before they are back on the starting pasture area. We also inspect our hogs once a week, but now we will be doing daily checks so we find any issue before it can escalate to a real problem.

    I wanted to post up this experience for others just getting into livestock, I hope it saves someone else the Traumatic distress of discovering something wrong with their animals that was not expected or prepared for.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for this Bryant, do you think DE might also help?
     
  3. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    We looked into using DE, since it is one of my favorite anti bug tools but the risk of the hogs inhaling it was just a little to high for me to try dusting them with it. I will be adding it to their food to help combat internal parasites (round worms) though. I found two commercial hog men in my town and both admitted to not ever trying the hog friendly methods we are using. Both men are, however, working now to switch to some pasturing to experiment with the way we are working our guinea hogs. Both men seem to be ready to make some changes if it brings them better hogs for market. I think they will try some new things and probably use the ones they feel work better than what they have been doing. I think that is pretty cool, old timers listening to the new white haired kid on the block.

    When I approach "old timers" I go with "I am giving this a try, it seems to be working for my tiny operation", of course I'll never have as big an operation as yours but you might want to take a small portion of your herd and give it a trial, that way you aren't investing a lot if it turns out to not work for you. I also take in everything they offer in the way of advice, they have many years experience (even if I don't agree with their methodology) and I always learn from what they tell me. I learned a long time ago when I was with the USDA that listening and then offering something for the farmer to try that is different usually peaks their interest if you use the words "trial it and then decide", it may or may not work for you, at least you will know for sure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  4. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i'm not an animal care expert, but the reference i have here suggests making sure the scratching or rubbing post is covered with an oil infused rag so that when it is used they won't be spread to other animals...

    as to where it came from, hard to tell for sure but likely the fair as if an inspector cannot really check every little bit of skin and it only takes one infected animal to pass it on.
     
  5. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Hi Songbird, yes that is what we are doing, making sure they don't spread this malady or perpetuate it.
    We are fairly sure we inadvertently brought them home from the fair. Thus, we are buying disposable coveralls and shoe covers to use anytime we are off property any more. We are also building a small, quarantine paddock for any new arrivals that is separated from our herd paddocks. I really don't want to go through this mess again.

    We have found a couple of hog farmers that say to use the DE too. They tell me that I don't have to worry about inhalation of food grade DE, which was my main concern with using it on them. So, we are going to dust down their bedding area and the new bedding. Move all the old bedding to a compost pile, dust it down with DE and go forward from there. The oil is working very well, we have only the glued on eggs to deal with now, the nymphs and adults are all dead. I'm really glad our hogs love belly rubs, makes giving them a full check over easy enough. We are going to keep up the daily diligence for the next thirty days just to be sure we get all of them.
     
  6. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    So far so good, no living "bugs" on the hogs anymore. The eggs seem to have died from the oil treatments as they are dried up. I checked a few with the microscope I have, not as good a unit as I would like but now I have "ammo" to talk more about why we really need a decent microscope, wife may allow that to be purchased next year. I found another GC on the government surplus sale site, to bad, I don't need two of them though.
     
  7. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    I can declare total success with the extermination of the louse, eggs are confirmed dead, no new infestation. We have done a complete dusting with DE with none of the issues I was worried about happening which is a great thing. I love DE, it is cheap for us to buy and works the treat on everything. I've even used it in a spreader on our bits of lawn, all the gardens, around all the fruit trees. I've noticed it doesn't seem to affect our predator insects as much as I feared it would. I can see us using around 100 lbs. a season.
     
  8. Flatland

    Flatland Member

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    I don't know about hog lice but horse lice seem to be able to turn up without being able to fly or a horse being in contact with an infected horse.
    For treating horse lice (and I am thinking hog lice would probably be the same) you can dust the animal with Derris Dust active ingredient is Rottenoe (probably have not spelt that correctly) Derris dust is allowed to be used on organic farms. You don't have to dust the whole animal just a stripe all its back and another stripe at right angles across the shoulders. The lice move from one side of the animal to the other with sunlight (can't remember whether they move to or from sunlight).
    good luck
     
  9. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    We found that by wiping them down with Vegetable oil the lice were killed and the eggs dried up and so can't hatch. We dusted the whole pasture and their house with DE and have not had any show up since the second treatment with the oil. Their skin is better too. One of my objections to the USDA ORGANIC labeling is that they allow some "cides" and other items that are rather not in line with what I would define as organic. We are holistic in our methodology, which is far better to my thinking than worrying about the organic label.
     

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