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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James W. (Jim) Connor, December 19, 1999. Interview K-0818. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Importance of antibiotics in raising hogs

Connor describes the importance of antibiotics in raising hogs.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James W. (Jim) Connor, December 19, 1999. Interview K-0818. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHARLES THOMPSON:
Less than two and a half pounds of feed to make a pound of hog. Is this because hogs are just finely bred today?
JAMES (JIM) CONNOR:
Yeah. It's in the genetics for a long lean hog because they don't put any additives in the feed. They put a soybean meal to give them their protein. It's just corn and soybean meal. Unless you have to do some medication, where you get a whole sick herd or something like that. They'll put it in the feed and water so you can knock it out. But the mortality will usually run under two percent on a turn. If you do two percent or less, you're doing an excellent job. I've seen guys that would get pseudo-rabies in a herd or something like that and lose eight to ten percent of the herd. When you start losing heavy hogs like that, that really screws up your feed conversion because you bury a two hundred-pound hog, you're burying six hundred pounds of feed. If you don't keep those feeders adjusted where they can get that trough full of feed, then they get in there and flip it out. When it goes through them cracks, it's gone.
CHARLES THOMPSON:
You're still paying for it in a sense.
JAMES (JIM) CONNOR:
Well they are. It comes off your feed conversion bonus.
CHARLES THOMPSON:
You find this to be aߞyou said you only spend four to six hours a day on the hog operation. That's a pretty good job. But you have to do it seven days a week.
JAMES (JIM) CONNOR:
Well you can do it in less than that. If you don't have a lot of sick animals where you're giving shots. You can walk through one of those buildings and check the waterers, check your feeders, check the fans, your curtains, make sure you're not getting build up underneath the slats where it flushes. If you've got a dead animal or something, you pull it out and put it in the Dumpster. You can do a building, if you don't have a problem in it, in thirty minutes. These four houses, it'd take two hours and do a good job.