Publish Date: 11/01/2019
Economies of scale and the greater need for efficiency have resulted in the vast majority of pigs being raised indoors. These artificial environments have a great impact on production performance and the health status of both the pig and the worker. With the pork industry becoming more integrated, uniform-style barns are built in multiples, and an error in design can be multiplied many times over. This situation highlights the continued need for adhering to basic design principles in ventilation and environmental control.
Publish Date: 09/23/2019
A pig can become non-ambulatory anytime on-farm due to injury, illness or fatigue (Benjamin, 2005). Hence, caretakers may be required to move non-ambulatory pigs into or out of pens, alleys and load out areas. The National Pork Board provides guidance about humane swine handling of healthy and non-ambulatory pigs through their Pork Quality Assurance Plus and Transport Quality Assurance programs (NPB, 2019, 2017). This factsheet provides information related to handling tools that are options to move a non-ambulatory pig on-farm.
Publish Date: 12/21/2017
Feed is the largest cost in pork production; therefore, improving finisher pig feed efficiency can increase producer profitability. Improving feed efficiency can support industry competitiveness, decrease the demand on global feed resources, and complement environmental sustainability. 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 feeding behavior and performance. Therefore, this factsheet will discuss feeding behavior and performance research on RFI selection conducted at Iowa State University.
Publish Date: 08/07/2017
According to federal law, as mandated by the U.S. Congress, all producers (adult or youth) selling pigs for any reason, regardless of purpose, age, or sex of the animal, must pay Checkoff dues assessments unless an exemption has been granted by the National Pork Board based on the requirements of the Organic Exemption Request Form. The goals of the Pork Checkoff program are to strengthen the position of and expand the markets for pork and pork products through research, promotion, and education. This fact sheet has been developed to help county fair boards and youth livestock sale committee personnel ensure compliance with the mandated federal Pork Checkoff. Most Pork Checkoff funds are collected and used for promotion, research, and education at the national level. However, funds from the Pork Checkoff are also remitted back to respective states where the animals are raised for promotion, research, and education at the state level.
Publish Date: 04/10/2009
In todays swine industry, biosecurity protocols are perceived to be extremely important in order to protect the health status of a herd. While the easiest way to introduce a microorganism into a swine herd is through the introduction of infected animals, the potential for pathogen entry via contaminated fomites, i.e. boots, transport vehicles, etc. has…
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.
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.
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.