Ken Kephart Pennsylvania State University

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Forages for Swine

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

Pork producers have long recognized the value of forages in the swine enterprise. Prior to 1950, pasture was considered a vital component in swine feeding programs. But after synthetic vitamins became universally available during the early ’50s, the need for forage crops in swine production was diminished. But even today, pastures and forages may contribute a practical and economical part of feeding hogs.


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Resources Reviewed

Factsheets

Siting and Building Considerations to Reduce Odor Potential from Swine Facilities

Publish Date: 04/09/2010

The best time to lower the potential for odor and odor complaints from any swine facility is before the site is constructed. Siting and building design have a tremendous influence on odor potential, not only through position relative to neighbors, highways, parks and municipalities, but also due to the communitys perception of odor potential.


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Factsheets

Evaluating Proposed Swine Operations for Potential Odor Conflict

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

The expense and potential liability associated with building or expanding a swine operation demands that facilities be placed in an acceptable location. Some areas of the country or locations on an individual farm are simply not suitable for swine production because of the potential for odor complaints or environmental damage. This paper provides prospective and current - swine producers with many factors to consider when selecting potential locations to build or expand. More importantly, it offers tactics to improve marginal locations and directs developers toward tools that can help to quantify the siting process. Nonetheless, identifying and isolating acceptable locations for swine facilities requires at least a modicum of several disciplines ranging from engineering to sociology to art to common sense and neighborliness.


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Factsheets

Management of large groups of growing pigs

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

Choice of appropriate group size is an important consideration when designing facilities, particularly for growing pigs (from weaning to slaughter) and for sows that are group housed during gestation. Commercially, pigs are housed in group sizes ranging from individual animals (e.g., sow gestation crates) to, in certain cases, groups of several thousand animals. Small group sizes (around 10 pigs per pen) are used on some operations for growing pigs, particularly those that use litter segregation (keeping whole litters together in discreet groups from weaning to slaughter), although this practice is not widespread. Typical group sizes for commercial production are generally within the range 20 to 30 pigs per group. Recently, there has been increased interest in the use of larger groups for growing pigs. Initially this interest focused on the potential to reduce costs and improve management in larger groups, however, more recently, the development of automatic sorting systems which are based on groups of between 500 and 1000 pigs has added a new dimension to the debate on optimum group sizes.


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Factsheets

Performance Records on Relatives

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

Estimating the genetic merit of all individuals in a herd is required before a comprehensive selection and genetic improvement program can be successful. Performance records need to be collected on as many animals as possible, ideally on every animal in the herd. Since animals have relatives and progeny in the herd, the records on these relatives or groups of relatives can be used to improve the estimation of the genetic merit of an individual animal. Animals are related when they receive some identical genes from a common ancestor. When they have genes in common, the performance of one individual for a given trait can be used to help estimate genetic merit for other related individuals.


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