Project not completed due to weather difficulties and time constraints.
- Animals: swine
- Animal Production: animal protection and health
- Farm Business Management: marketing management
This project will establish a more sustainable swine production system that will provide money for my family as well as improve the environment and potential health of my pigs. It will also give me the opportunity to explore the marketing of my meat as a specialty product. I plan to produce drug-free pork in this system, utilizing the Swedish deep-bedded, group-housed system in an exisitng facility that will be moved to my farm. The swine industry is undergoing rapid change, and I want to establish a system that will allow me to compete with the mechanized operations in the future.
Sows and litters will be placed into pens at litter ages of approximately 10 days old. Pens will be 12 feet x 60 feet creating 720 square feet per pen. Approximately 7 sows and litters will be placed into each pen, giving each sow and litter 103 square feet. This is more of a modified Swedish system, since sows will be in a separate location which uses some older farrowing crates to farrow their litters and then will be grouped by litter age and placed into this housing system.
Sows will be removed from pigs at litter ages of approximately 28 days. Pigs will then be grown to finish weight in the same pen with no mixing of pigs. This takes advantage of the performance increases seen when pigs are not co-mingled after weaning. Also, the facility becomes more versatile as it serves as both a nursery and a grow-finish barn.
Sows in gestation will be fed on pasture. Pasture will supply the majority of their nutrient requirements until the thrid trimester of pregnancy chere som corn will eb fed for extra energy. Feeding sows on pasture has been shown to increase feed intake in lactation, which indirectly increases piglet weight gain through more sow milk production. About one week before farrowing, sows will be moved to my farrowing ban where they will remain until piglets are about 10 days old. As mentioned previously, sows will then be grouped and moved to the deep-bedded barn.
Project objectives from proposal: