Publish Date: June 3, 2006
Pork producers in the United States who are looking for lower cost structures for raising pigs have shown a great deal of interest in hoop structures or hooped shelters as facilities for housing market or finishing pigs. Producers need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of housing. A number of manufacturers offer these units for sale, but little objective data are available to help producers decide if a hoop structure is a good investment. The information in this publication is intended to help producers and designers resolve some of the issues involved in using a hoop structure. The fact sheet discusses some of the management techniques that hoop structures require, and it presents economic factors that can be used to analyze the alternatives.
Publish Date: August 22, 2008
Technological advances and an enhanced understanding of the finishing pigs needs have resulted in the application of new, innovative methods of housing and managing the finishing pig. Housing of finishing pigs in very large pens, containing 500 or more pigs, is now being practiced throughout the U.S. swine industry. Large pens can capture efficiencies of space and help alleviate problems associated with animal aggression and behavior. Application of automated sorting technology has improved animal handling within large group finishers while expanding producer opportunities to fine-tune management decisions regarding feeding, monitoring, and marketing finishing pigs. Enhanced management has allowed producers to capture economic benefits from finishing facilities while maintaining productivity and welfare of the pig. This fact sheet describes the industries current understanding of automatic sorting technology.