Publish Date: 11/11/2015
Breeding or mating systems are the approach taken to pairing a boar and a gilt or sow for breeding in order to incorporate or maintain desired traits. Because the genetics of a pig plays an important role in its performance and meat quality, all pig producers should be familiar with breeding systems for pigs. This factsheet provides an introduction to pig breeding systems and heterosis. Practical swine breeding systems for small and beginning pig farmers are also discussed.
Publish Date: 11/11/2015
This factsheet presents a biosecurity protocol for farms raising pigs in alternative housing systems. The protocol can be adapted in various ways to meet the needs of different farms. The main objective is to provide smaller scale, alternative production system users with information they can use to enhance farmstead biosecurity. Developing and implementing an effective biosecurity protocol for livestock reduces the risk of disease, thereby benefiting production and profitability.
Publish Date: 09/21/2015
The performance of pigs is the result of two influences: genetics and environment. Because the genetics of a pig plays an important role in its performance and meat quality, all pig producers should be familiar with the potential and application of genetic selection. This factsheet provides an introduction to genetic principles and selection strategies for beginning pig farmers.
Publish Date: 08/05/2009
Several universities have excellent references to swine information both for their respective states as well as national data and links to websites. They also provide references to studies done on various facets of the pork industry. To go to the website click on the internet links provided in the third column of the references.IntroductionSeveral universities…
Publish Date: 08/26/2015
A number of factors affect pork quality, with swine genetics, preslaughter handling, harvest, and pork carcass chilling having the greatest impacts. However, there is considerable evidence indicating that manipulating the nutrient composition of swine diets may offset the negative effects of genetic predisposition and/or pig handling on pork quality, and may actually enhance pork quality traits of well-handled pigs of good quality genotypes. Pork quality traditionally refers to the measurement of muscle pH, color, firmness, marbling or intramuscular fat (IMF) content, shelf-life, and cooked pork palatability. Yet, domestic and international consumers may define pork quality in terms associated with environmental, ethical, and animal welfare aspects of pork production, whereas pork processors typically include fat color, firmness, and composition, as well as nutrient composition and microbiological safety in their definition of pork quality. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the effects of dietary modifications on: 1) postmortem muscle metabolism and technological quality attributes (i.e., pH, color, and water-holding capacity); 2) pork IMF content; 3) pork fat quality; 4) color and lipid stability during refrigerated storage/display; and 5) cooked pork palatability.
Publish Date: 10/11/2008
Pork producers have both economic and ethical incentives to understand the amount of space that meets the anatomical and behavioral needs of the pig. It is not enough to say pigs need more space on purely anthropomorphic grounds. We must understand how science has defined space needs of pigs. Still, some people may impose ethical or perceptual requirements about how much space should be provided that differs from purely science-based requirements. This paper will firstly consider how various groups view the space provided to pigs and secondly address the various ways in which space requirements have been defined based on science.
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.
Publish Date: 12/08/2014
Previously, lactation failure in swine was known as MMA (Mastitis, Metritis, Agalactia) syndrome. Now it belongs to the Postpartum Dysgalactia Syndrome (PDS) and affects the optimum expression of the sows’ productive capacity in a way that is much less clinically visible. It is referred to as a syndrome to indicate that there may be several risk factors and clinical signs that are referred to collectively as lactation failure or, more exactly, an early and temporary dysgalactia (i.e. reduced or insufficient milk production). MMA can be seen as the emerging part of an iceberg represented by PDS, which is the more important and underestimated part and thus most dangerous. It is a major concern to pork producer because of the economic impact although it is difficult to quantify.
Publish Date: 05/06/2015
Over the past decade there has been increased awareness from the public on animal welfare issues related to commercial swine. More specifically, in the United States, much time and discussion has focused on housing conditions of sows during farrowing and lactation. Restricted sow movement in the traditional farrowing stall has been identified as a significant concern with growing pressure towards the elimination of this system. Recognizing changes in consumer demand and the desire to improve sow welfare by meeting her biological needs during farrowing, alternative farrowing options need to be assessed. The purpose of this factsheet is to identify alternative farrowing options and discuss the impacts of these facilities on the biological needs of the sow, piglet welfare and impact on worker safety, efficiency and labor costs.
Publish Date: 07/08/2014
Curing is an ancient process, whereby meat was originally preserved by the addition of salt. In their textbook, “The Meat We Eat”, Romans et al., (2001) traced the origins of salt curing of meat to the Sumerian culture, which emerged in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, approximately 4,000 B.C. It is commonly believed that the salt used in early meat curing was contaminated with salt peter (potassium nitrate), which contributed to a sustained, desirable red color of meat after exposure. Shortly after, additional benefits including a longer storage life before spoilage also were realized. As the industry developed, the additional multifunctional contributions of curing ingredients to cured meats became well-recognized.