Pig breeding without antibiotics – a successful example from Ukraine
Despite the devastating war in Ukraine the country’s farmers continue to try and keep their businesses up and running insofar as possible. A pig farmer in Timoshivka in the Cherkassy Region in one of them. His 1,200-ha family agrobusiness holds around 450 mother sows – starting with 150 in 2006 when market prices were very attractive and pork quality in general was quite low.
In 2011 the farm, Agroplus 2006, engaged a consultant to develop an antibiotic-free full circle production system from birth to the slaughterhouse. With remarkable results: of the entire population per anno only up to 2% of all pigs ever receive any antibiotics. Antibiotics are used only for therapeutic measures and individually. Pigs that were treated with antibiotics are marked. Rather than administering antibiotics to the pigs, the farm uses only feed of the highest quality and has invested in strong animal care and production management and in modern facilities; food, pre- and probiotics are chosen according to the pH level in the pig’s intestines. Each animal receives an individual dose of feed that is adjusted according to the slightest change in its condition.
Aside from not contributing to antibiotic resistance, the ‘System Timoshivka’ has additional positive effects: the pigs have a strong immunity, the meat quality is improved in terms of water holding, tenderness, taste, etc., and the environmental impact is lower as there is almost no smell around the farm. Because of the benefits, more than 40 farms in Switzerland also started to successfully implement the System Timoshivka /pig farming without antibiotics 8 years ago.
The Agroplus 2006 management engages to share its experience, knowledge and the basics of its System to benefit all pig producers, helping them to implement it on agricultural enterprises all over the world. It already provides consulting services not only in Ukraine but also in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and other European countries