Factsheets

Factsheets

Factsheets

Introduction to Raising Pigs

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.


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How has selection for residual feed intake (RFI) affected the grow-finish pig's ability to cope with stress?

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.


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Introduction to Swine Genetics for Small and Beginning Pig Farmers

Publish Date: 12/01/2015

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.


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Pig Breeding Systems for Small and Beginning Pig Farmers

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.


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Biosecurity for Alternative Pig Farms

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.


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Introduction to Swine Genetics for Small and Beginning Farmers

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.


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Swine Statistical References - University Reference Sites for Statistics

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…


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Nutritional Effects on Pork Quality in Swine Production

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.


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Sows and Space

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.


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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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