'all-in/all-out' May Make Antibiotics Obsolete
Written September 10, 1997
Many hog producers use antibiotics to help keep hogs healthy. In some situations, antibiotics are warranted. However, a Purdue University study suggests that hogs raised in all-in/all-out (AI/AO) management systems live in such a disease-free environment that antibiotics could well be a waste of money for the producer.
With AI/AO, animals of similar age enter and leave a farrowing or nursery unit at the same time.
Purdue animal scientist Mark Diekman and animal sciences graduate student Amy Ice raised 200 barrows in AI/AO and 200 barrows in continuous management systems. Half of each group received antibiotic treatment, the other half did not.
At the end of six months, hogs in the AI/AO group had fewer lung lesions and produced more lean meat than did the hogs in the continuous management system. However, the AI/AO group that was given antibiotics did no better than did the untreated AI/AO group. The researchers results suggest that for hogs raised in AI/AO management systems, routine use of antibiotics could be a waste of money.