Publish Date: 10/15/2020
There is no best way to dispose of swine mortality carcasses. While some methods may work well for managing routine mortalities, the ability to scale them up to handle large numbers can be difficult. These methods may not adapt to times when catastrophic mortalities occur. The optimum system for any particular farm location is based on a number of criteria, including the current state of the protein/oil market, the biosecurity required, the distance to processing sites, the local public's perception, the government regulations that apply to that location, the environmental conditions, and the ability of the farm to carry out the different procedures. The death losses at a farm can be classified broadly as one of two types, routine or catastrophic. Routine mortalities represent a small proportion of herd and occur throughout the course of normal production. Catastrophic mortality events involve high death losses within a distinct period of time. These methods can also be used for catastrophic loses but the larger scale in a shorter time frame often increases process intensity. Additionally if losses are due to disease, they have a higher biosecurity risk.
Publish Date: 09/01/2020
The transition in the swine industry to confinement production, where extensive mechanical systems are used automate many routine processes, has created new management needs and challenges. These mechanical systems wear and are prone to failures; therefore, they must be maintained to keep the facility functioning correctly. The cost of the repairs and maintenance can vary widely based on the maintenance program followed and the original equipment installed. Iowa State Extension estimates that the cost of repairs and maintenance annually is 1.5% of the barns original cost, although the type of maintenance program is unknown (Christensen, 2019). To minimize the cost and maximize the barn’s efficiency and lifespan, a maintenance programs must be created and implemented. The different electromechanical systems in a barn (ventilation, feed, water, etc.) all have components that could lead to system failure, thereby having a negative impact on production and pig welfare. For example it has been noted that a feed outage lasting 24 hours can cost at least $1.00 per head in finishing situation (Hollis, 2006). This could be caused by an equipment failure in the feed system and the costs would likely increase rapidly if compounded with multiple equipment failures.
Publish Date: 07/01/2020
It is estimated that by the year 2050 the world population will be over 9 billion people and food production will need to increase up to 60% more to meet demand (FAO 2009). Therefore, livestock production would likely intensify increasing animal density and lowering the stockperson per animal ratio. This will result in less time available to monitor and manage individual animals properly, jeopardizing animal health and welfare. Currently, there is a growing interest to automate swine welfare assessment using precision livestock farming (PLF) which increases the farmer’s ability to keep contact with individual animals in the growing livestock production intensification.
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.