THE U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has released its "Reference of Management Practices on Small-Enterprise Swine Operations, 2012," the first report from its "Swine 2012" study.
The NAHMS report focuses on U.S. swine operations with fewer than 100 pigs on site.
Thirty-one states participated in the small enterprise portion of the "Swine 2012" study. These states accounted for 82.7% of U.S. swine operations with fewer than 100 pigs and 86.9% of pigs on operations with fewer than 100 pigs.
Later reports from the study will focus on operations with 100 or more pigs.
The following are a few highlights from the small enterprise report:
* Less than 10% of operations that housed breeding animals and weaned pigs together did so in total confinement. When sows and weaned pigs were housed separately, nearly 80% of operations provided sows and gilts with outside access. Most operations used group housing for sows and gilts.
* Most operations with sows (71.4%) had at least one farrowing event from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012. Oddly, operations with 50-99 pigs had an average of 2.3 more piglets born per litter than operations with 1-49 pigs (9.3 and 7.0 piglets, respectively). This production difference is unusual, given the relatively small difference in size between the operations, NAHMS said.
* Despite porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome being widely dispersed throughout the swine industry, no operations with 50-99 pigs reported a known or suspected problem with the disease in sows, gilts or weaned pigs from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012.
* More than half of operations brought pigs on site between June 1, 2011, and May 31, 2012, and nearly 70% of those were feeder pigs.
* More than three-fourths of operations permanently moved pigs off the operation. Market-weight slaughter pigs represented nearly 50% of all pigs permanently moved, and more than 50% of these pigs were moved directly to slaughter. Less than 20% of operations moved pigs off the operation and then returned them.