Publish Date: 03/15/2016
Food animal performance and profitability, meat quality, individual safety, family dynamics, and consumer perspectives are all impacted by the way people work livestock on the farm, in transportation or at exhibition. Using proper pig handling and movement practices will not only contribute to good animal care and performance, but will improve pig and human safety and public perception as youth prepare, transport, and exhibit pigs at fairs and shows. Proper pig handling will also improve youth and their family's experience and success in raising a swine project for exhibition.
Publish Date: 02/08/2016
Pigs are an adaptable and rapidly growing species that may be attractive for small and beginning farmers seeking to incorporate livestock into their farm. This factsheet summarizes typical performance of the type of pigs most commonly raised in the United States. Although these estimates are not universal, they are a starting point for developing a plan to raise pigs. Estimates of feed use for a sow and a litter of pigs to market as well as a glossary of terms and abbreviations commonly used in pig production literature are also presented.
Publish Date: 03/07/2016
Feed is the largest cost in pork production; therefore, improving feed efficiency can increase producer profitability. Furthermore improved feed efficiency can support industry competitiveness, decrease the demand on global feed resources, and complement environmental sustainability. Genetically, selective breeding for residual feed intake (RFI) shows promise in meeting these increased demands. However, it is important to balance the benefits of feed efficiency selection with the pig’s ability to cope with stress and its welfare. Therefore, this factsheet will discuss physiological and behavioral stress research on swine selected on the basis of RFI.