USDA issues first report from 'Swine 2012' study

USDA issues first report from 'Swine 2012' study

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.

Volume:86 Issue:12

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