1 Pastured Pork Production Tim Holmes Director of Compliance A Greener World
2 A Greener World was founded to: Identify and promote agricultural systems that have a positive impact on the environment, society and animals (wild and farmed) To educate consumers about the environmental, social and animal outcomes of their food purchasing decisions To establish and promote trusted farm certification programs that help reconnect the consumer and food producer by encouraging and rewarding positive farm management
4 Our certifications: Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW Certified Grassfed by AGW Certified Non-GMO by AGW Certified Organic by AGW
5 Pastured Pigs
6 Are you ready to set up your farm? What are your markets and Opportunities? Have you identified a Slaughter Plant and talked with them about capacity available? How much land will it take? What type of infrastructure will I need? What types of feeding plan and pastures work best? What breeds work best for a pasture operation? How do I set up a production system?
7 What are my markets? Will the farm be direct marketing meat or animals? What level of production does farmer feel confident that they can sell? Is the slaughter plant willing or able to increase number it slaughters for farm as it grows? How will product be sold? Farmers markets? Meat CSA? Restaurants? Are markets available that will buy excess meat or animals? Will market allow for seasonable production or require year-round supply?
8 What are my markets? If the farm is joining a marketing group or co-op? What level of production are you and the group or co-op comfortable with? Are any contracts involved and what are the requirements for membership? How is the price for animals or product determined? What are farms alternatives if group or co-op cannot market all of farms production?
9 Production Systems Seasonal or year-round? Natural or AI? 1940 s style systems or modern outdoor production practices? Do not try and reinvent the wheel. There are proven systems out there. Do your research on what you think will work for you and implement it on your farm. Tweak it to suit your needs once you gain experience to better suit your situation!
10 Herd Health and Bio-security The best way to avoid disease and parasite issues is not to introduce them onto your farm. Become familiar with livestock in place near your farm and what your risks are. Quarantine all new stock entering your farm and have a good bio-security plan in place when starting up. Work with a veterinarian or other professional to determine what type of vaccination program you need to have in place. The health status of your herd is dependent on bringing in high health animals and doing your best in maintaining that status with a sound bio-security program
11 Breeds? What breeds work best for pasture system? All breeds of pigs can be utilized in a pasture system if appropriate breeding plan is in place. Over large litters should be avoided. Many of the breeds that have large litters are also excellent mothers. Litter size can be addressed by crossing breeds while keeping the desired mothering trait. White breeds can have issues with sunburn. Crosses can address this issue. Source breeding or feeder stock from producers that have a breeding program in place and a good herd health program. Junk in equals junk out.
12 Breeds? Do pasture breeds need to be heritage breeds? Depends on farms market and philosophy. Heritage: A term applied to breeds of livestock that were bred over time so that they are well-adapted to local environmental conditions, can withstand local diseases, or survive in harsh environmental conditions, for example. Heritage breeds generally have slow growth rates and long productive life spans outdoors, making them well-suited for grazing and pasturing. However, the term heritage does not guarantee animals were raised outdoors.
13 Breeds? Who defines Heritage? It can be argued that all breeds of pigs have heritage lines. Heritage or rare breed are generally hardy. Trade off is that litter size is generally significantly smaller and feed conversion is usually poor. Certain breeds are known for being either bacon- or lard-producing breeds You must be sure that you are producing a product that will fit your intended market and not just the latest fad or flavor of the moment
14 How much land? Land required for pigs is going to vary by region of country and soil type and rainfall & snowfall amounts. General Guidelines: 6-10 Gestation sows or guilt's per acre Lactating sows and litters per acre. Weaning by 8 weeks of age Growing and finishing pigs per acre. Overall a general guideline is to have one acre available for each productive sow in the herd to allow for rotation of pastures.
15 Infrastructure? Portable Fixed
16 Portable or Fixed? Most farms want to put in fixed infrastructure when starting up. Portable shelters, huts and fencing works better with rotational systems. Portable systems gives farms more flexibility on how land and pastures can be used. Fixed systems can limit access to pastures and makes rotation more difficult.
17 Portable Equipment Allows for maximum use of pastures. Can easily be moved and disinfected. Allow the farm to have greater flexibility in setting up production system.
18 Fixed Equipment More control over animals. Harder to sanitize and greater chance of parasite build-up. Less flexible. Harder to make use of all pastures and rotation.
19 Fencing Fixed Portable
20 Fixed Fencing Woven wire fences can make good perimeter fences especially in high traffic areas. Cost can be an issue. Woven wire fences are not very portable. Pasture rotation along with cropping is harder to achieve with fixed fencing. Terrain can make installation difficult.
21 Portable Fencing Cost is not as great as fixed fencing. Lends itself to pasture rotation and cropping. Requires more management than fixed fencing to keep in optimal working order. One or two strand electric fences will keep pigs in well if combined with a New Zealand style fencer. Key is to fence break pigs early and not allow them to ever get used to running under fence.
22 Farrowing Huts English Arc Modified A
23 Farrowing Huts A-Frame Quonset
24 Farrowing Hut Importance Hut design makes a big difference in piglet mortality pdf link to outdoor farrowing hut study. English Style huts along with different versions of modified A-frames work best. A-frame and Quonset style huts had the worst performance. In the U.S.A. Quonset and A-frame huts are the most available yet the least effective. link to E-Hut (modified A-frame)
25 Shelters Hoops Quonset
26 Shelters Carports Shades
27 Feeding Program Farm needs a good base feed balanced for class of animal it is being fed to. Diets should be formulated on amount of lysine and digestible energy they provide. The different classes of pigs have different lysine and energy requirements Feedstuffs contain different levels of amino acids and energy and have different digestibility and palatability. Vitamin and mineral levels for class of pigs is important
28 Alternative Feeds What about peanuts, sweet potatoes, snap beans, cucumbers, potatoes and other by-products. These feeds are okay as supplements, but farm should not depend on these sources as main feeding plan. Peanuts and other products high in oil can cause soft pork if overfed. Many by- products or alternative feeds have minimal feed value due to palatability, digestibility, fiber content or overall poor nutritional value.
29 Feeding Program Pastures How much of pigs feed needs can come from pasture? Depends on age of pigs and stage they are in. Gestating sows can utilize pastures best. This class of pig can get 50% to 80% of dietary needs on the right type pastures under certain conditions. Lactating sows because of the demands of litter cannot utilize as well. Finishing pigs would be in the 5 to 10% range at best as a rule of thumb.
30 Pastures Pastures should be viewed as a supplement to your main feeding plan. The quality of pasture will depend on soil condition, rainfall and temperatures during any growing season. Pastures will play a role in nutrient management as well as being feed source. Most classes of pigs will denude pastures at some point during the year. Rotation should be part of pasture plan.
31 Pastures Most of a pig's nutritional needs are meet with feed not grown on pasture pigs are grazing. Pigs have a natural tendency to denude pastures. Nutrient loads can increase greatly on land that is not rotated and cropped or hayed because of all the added nutrients. Land needs to be rotated and cropped or hayed to remove these nutrients. Annuals work well for this as part of a rotational cropping plan
32 Pastures Many pasture systems are Perennial based. Perennials work well with ruminants. Because little supplemental feed is needed with ruminants very little extra nutrients are added to the land. Pastures can last for a long period of time in ruminant based systems making perennials a good choice. Pigs tend to denude pastures. Some classes of pigs faster than others. This can make perennial a challenge for pigs. Perennials can work for pigs, but the added nutrient load must be addressed.
33 Feeders and Equipment
34 Feeders and Equipment
35 Feeding and Sorting
38 Solar Powered Fence
39 Transport around farm
40 Resources Huts and shelters Port-a-Hut Smidley Website of different types of equipment Booth Pig Equipment J Harvey Engineering LTD. Osborne Sioux Steel Company
41 Thank you for your time Key points to take away Make sure you have a market. Do your research on production systems and breeds. Don t try and reinvent the wheel. Tweak the system to better suit your farm once it is up and running. Never quit learning or researching new methods. Technology changes daily and it can be adapted to your farm.