Difference in prevalence of gastrointestinal protozoa in pigs kept in a forest, on hobby farms and on organic farms
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The prevalence of gastrointestinal protozoa was studied in suckling piglets, fatteners and sows coming from 8 organic farms, 19 hobby farms and 3 forest/nature farms. On the hobby farms and the forest/nature farms the pigs were of the Bentheim Black Pied breed. The prevalence was determined using faecal microscopic examination of pooled samples. Infections with Balantidium coli, Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp were not found. Infections with coccidia were found on 75% of the organic farms, on 33% of the forest/nature farms and on 53% of the hobby farms. In the fatteners, the highest prevalence was on the hobby farms (75%). In the sows, the highest prevalence was found on the organic farms (86%). The number of examined suckling piglets was very low, so percentages from 43% up to 100% (1 sample) were found. The farms which had 2 pigs present (Bentheim Black Pied) had a significantly lower prevalence of coccidial infections, compared to the farms with 3-9 animals and farms with >100 animals present. The farms with over 100 pigs present were the organic farms. No clinical signs were reported.