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 pigs and disease and other things...

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joelie hicks
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Number of posts : 262
Registration date : 2008-09-21

PostSubject: pigs and disease and other things...   Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:56 am

The idea that wild pigs are the cause of the spinach problem is not accurate. The main problem has come from fields sprayed with manure from cafo lagoons. Studies are now showing that the chemicals and antibiotics are showing up in the plants. While this is not good for crops that are used for animal feed, it is much more serious when it is used for crops we directly ingest, such as spinach. If you are taking an antibiotic and eat some of this food, the results can be deadly. There was an article in the Mpls Tribune years ago about tracing an e-coli outbreak to a SD farm. The calves were given an antibiotic in their feed as a prophylactic measure. The mysterious illness hit the metro area with a vengeance. But the people who became sick were not in the same family, living in the same area or patronized the same stores or restaurants. Detective work by the CDC in Atlanta discovered the antibiotic in the animals multiplied the bad flora, they exhibited no outward signs of illness. The animals were made into hamburger which was sold throughout the metro area. The people who became sick enough to go to the hospital all had one thing in common. They were taking an antibiotic. Only one person was taking their own prescription, the others grabbed some old stuff out of the medicine cabinet. It was thought that geese landing in the field transmitted a bug to the calves. If the calves were not given the anti biotic it would not have happened. If the people had not dosed themselves, they would not have gotten sick. I suppose it could be argued that the calves should not have been out doors, but really the other two options are much more manangeable.
On to pigs, I buy my pork from someone who feeds their pigs good food and they are antibiotic free. Pigs in cafos are usually fed antibiotics, they are not fed hormones the way a beef or dairy animal is. The breed of pigs my farmer grows are an old breed that can take outdoor temps, within reason. They have housing they can enter at will. If you visit them they are standing in the mud they have made, or sleeping happily in a pile. Pigs are meant to root, the mud cools them off, because they do not sweat. Anyone who knows much about pigs (I have kept pigs in the past) knows that they do not stand or lay in manure. Pigs are very clean, they deficate in a special spot in their pen.
Livestock are a part of our lives, they are one of the ways we make a living. For 6 months of the year they are at pasture, eating grass. The other six months when the grass is dormant and the ground is frozen they are in pens outdoors, with plenty of room to move and 3 sided sheds for protection from the wind. They are fed a combination of grass, silage and grain. They are heavily bedded which mitigates the strength of the manure, and helps it to compost quickly. We have plenty of land for the manure to be placed. We test the soil to see it is not over applied.
I am so glad i can get all my meat, eggs and milk from people who farm in a way that is best for people, land and the animals themselves. While technology is a useful tool, it does not replace allowing animals to behave in the way God made them to behave. And in proper amounts, their waste is a gift for the soil.
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