Production and Management Systems

Factsheets

Housing options for farrowing: Considerations for animal welfare and economics

Publish Date: 01/18/2009

Housing systems for farrowing sows have changed very little in the past 30 years. At the mid 20th century, two farrowing environments were common the outdoor hut in a pasture or lot, and an indoor farrowing pen. The farrowing pens were in low-cost buildings and thus the cost per square foot of building space was relatively low compared to todays buildings. Farrowing sows indoors has proved to be beneficial for both the producer and the sow and her piglets. However, recent criticism of the traditional farrowing crate has led to increased efforts to find suitable alternatives that still provide maximum production efficiency.


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PIG How-To's

Daily Walking Swine Nursery-Growing-Finishing Barns

Publish Date: 11/12/2014

Regardless of whether a caretaker is walking a nursery, growing-finishing, or wean-to-finish barn, the facility has to be observed and evaluated at the individual pig level, pen level, and barn level. The main reason for walking a barn is to identify problems, determine why the problem is occurring, and take action to solve the problem. A walk-through requires a caretaker to make observations, listen to sounds, smell odors, feel/take room temperatures, measure relative humidity, and touch objects. The morning walk-through is usually more thorough because of the detailed observation of each individual animal, feeding system, watering system, and environment. The afternoon walk-through is less intense and mainly involves an evaluation of animal comfort, water availability, feed availability, and adequate ventilation. Caretakers need to apply their knowledge to solve the problems.


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PIG How-To's

Daily Walking Swine Breeding-Gestation and Farrowing Barns

Publish Date: 11/12/2014

Regardless of whether a caretaker is walking a barn used for gilt development, breeding-gestation, or farrowing, the facility has to be observed and evaluated at the barn level, pen or stall level, and individual pig level. The main reason for walking a barn is to identify problems, determine why the problem is occurring, and take action to solve the problem. A walk-through requires the caretaker to make observations, listen to sounds, smell odors, feel/take room temperatures, measure relative humidity, and touch objects. The morning walk-through is usually more thorough because of the detailed observation of each individual animal, feeding system, watering system, and environment. The afternoon walk-through is less intense and mainly involves an evaluation of animal comfort, water availability, feed availability, and adequate ventilation. Caretakers need to apply their knowledge to solve the problems.


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References

Nebraska Swine Day Report 2010

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

Nebraska Swine Day Report 2010


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References

Nebraska Swine Day Report 2011

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

Prepared by staff in the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska and cooperating departments for use in extension, teaching and research programs.


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References

Kansas State Swine Day Report of Progress 2010

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

This report contains updates and summaries of applied and basic research conducted at Kansas State University during the past year. We hope that the information will be of benefit as we attempt to meet the needs of the Kansas swine industry.


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References

Kansas State Swine Day 2011 Report of Progress

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

Kansas State Swine Day 2011 Report of Progress


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Factsheets

Evaluating Performance and Management Practices in Pork Production

Publish Date: 05/09/2012

To conduct an effective farm evaluation, production and financial records must be used in combination with observation, diagnostic and analytical information and questioning people involved in different areas of production. Accurate records are essential and an understanding of both animal and human behavior is valuable. Remember that pork production is a biological process, be aware of natural variation that occurs and don’t overlook the obvious. Before changes are recommended they should be evaluated by weighing additional costs against expected benefits.


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Factsheets

Scheduling All-In All-Out Swine Production

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

All-In–All-Out (AIAO) swine production is a system that keeps animals together in groups. Animals from different groups are not mixed during their stay on the farm. The groups are closely matched by age, weight, production stage and condition. The group is moved into a phase of production together, such as into an empty nursery, and is moved out of that phase as a group according to a production schedule. When a group moves forward, the facility is completely emptied. AIAO is the norm for most system production systems today. AIAO in an ideal world is by site, which is rarely practical. AIAO can also be by barn, room, “air space” or pen. In an AIAO system, sows are bred as groups to farrow during a 5- to 10-day period. By comparison, sows in a continuous flow system are bred continuously and farrow continuously. In a continuous flow system, pigs move as individuals, not as closely matched age groups, and a facility is never totally emptied because pigs or sows are always moving through it.


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References

NPB Swine Handbook

Publish Date: 04/19/2012

Animal husbandry is traditionally understood as a blend of the producer’s self-interest and duties of humane treatment for the animals on which we depend. A livestock operation cannot prosper without healthy and reproductively fit animals, and thus the profitability of the farm has tended to be regarded as a good indicator of well-being for its animals. Yet while profits provide an economic incentive for husbandry, livestock producers have never evaluated animal welfare solely in terms of dollars and cents. Taking proper care of one’s animals has always been understood as an ethical responsibility, as well as a necessary business practice.


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