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Animal Sciences and Industry

Animal Sciences and Industry

Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506-8028

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Email: asi@ksu.edu

Improving Pig Survivability Videos Released

Research review focuses on managing nutrient intake during weaning stages.Madison Wensely

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Madie Wensley, a doctoral student at Kansas State University, recently released two short videos summarizing preweaning and postweaning strategies to help improve pig survivability. This research project is part of the Improving Pig Survivability Project directed by Kansas State University, Iowa State University and Purdue.  

“Madie's videos and reviews provide a great background and foundation on things that producers can do to help pigs with the transition from milk to nursery diets at weaning,” says Mike Tokach, KSU ASI University distinguished professor and swine extension specialist. 

Wensley explains in the videos the findings of her literature review on pre-weaning and post-weaning strategies that can be implemented on farm to improve feed intake and reduce subsequent morbidity and mortality after weaning. The videos focus primarily on swine nutrient intake in the immediate stages prior to and following weaning. 

“We highlight management, nutrition, and other factors that influence how pigs transition to the nursery,” Wensley explains. “However, maintaining continuity of nutrient intake after weaning begins with people. Having the right people in the barn that know how to read the pigs and understand their needs is essential to successfully getting pigs started on solid feed.” 

Wensley completed her undergraduate career at Michigan State University before coming to Kansas State University to purse a master's degree in applied swine nutrition. She is currently a graduate research assistant who also serves an undergraduate research coordinator and teaching assistant.

The videos would not have been possible without the assistance of Denny McKilligan and Tech Mix with the literature reviews.

To watch these videos and learn more about this project visit https://piglivability.org/  

Improving Pig Survivability is a five-year project encompassing research, education, and extension efforts with the goal of reducing overall mortality in the U.S. commercial swine industry. The project is funded by the National Pork Board and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). 


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The Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry department serves students, livestock producers and the animal and food industries through teaching, research and education. The K-State ASI department prepares students for careers in the animal and food industries. The curriculum includes the study of nutrition, reproduction, genetics, behavior, meat science, food science with production, management, and agribusiness skills. For more about the K-State’s ASI department visit asi.ksu.edu.