Wean-to-Finish Biosecurity: Simple Start Tips, by Natalee Judson, DVM

Ensuring the health and safety of our pigs is a top priority for every swine producer. While we often focus on biosecurity measures at sow farms, it’s just as crucial to implement strong protocols in wean-to-finish barns.

What do we know

  • Disease doesn’t discriminate. We need to maintain our biosecurity mindset throughout the production cycle to maximize profitability.
  • Happy, healthy pigs eat and grow. The return on investment of a healthy barn can be significant.


Where to start
Implementing biosecurity at a wean-to-finish barn sounds expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. At PIPESTONE, we’ve been taking a proactive approach to wean-to-finish biosecurity. Through ongoing surveys and a comprehensive scoring system, producers can compare their biosecurity practices with peers. When we analyze the results, the scorecard provides some practical, cost-effective solutions to enhance biosecurity without breaking the bank.

  • Review overall site sanitation. Starting pigs in a clean, disinfected, and dry facility plays a critical role in swine health. Ensuring thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and drying of loading chute, sort panels, coveralls, boots, syringes.
  • Clean/dirty lines and Danish bench entry are easy biosecurity practices to prevent bringing pathogens into the farm past a designated line. Removing dirty shoes and clothing and crossing over to dress in clean barn-specific coveralls, boots, and hand washing prevents pathogens from entering and exiting a farm.
  • Any items brought into a site pose a risk of carrying and transmitting disease. Implementing Disinfection and Downtime (D&D) protocols for products and equipment entering the farm is a straightforward yet effective strategy. By following proper disinfection procedures and allowing enough downtime, we can greatly reduce the risk of disease introduction.
  • What else is living with your pigs, spreading disease? It is easy to overlook the importance of keeping birds, mice, and varmints at bay. Bird netting, rock perimeters, bait stations, and timely cleaning of feed spills are easy biosecurity protocols to implement today.
  • Consider your barn location, it is important to evaluate your surroundings and proximity to pig-dense areas to help minimize disease pressure. Talk with your veterinarian and review your vaccination status.

Enhancing biosecurity standards in wean-to-finish operations is not only a wise investment but a necessity for long-term sustainability. By embracing proactive measures, collaborating with veterinary experts, and implementing best practices, producers can protect herd health, optimize productivity, and remain competitive in a challenging industry landscape. Working in partnership with industry leaders like PIPESTONE, producers can raise the bar on biosecurity standards and ensure a prosperous future for swine production. Ask your Pipestone veterinarian today about how they can help you assess, score and improve your wean-to-market biosecurity.


Article by Natalee Judson, DVM

Dr. Natalee Judson was raised on her family’s horse ranch in Florida and is a second-generation veterinarian. Throughout her veterinary coursework and clinical experiences, Natalee found her passion for swine health and joined Pipestone Veterinary Services in 2023.