Though there are as several systems of pig production as there are person farms, these can be divided into two significant kinds: indoor or outside pig production.

Indoor pigs farms function herds of pigs kept in a reasonably smaller, closely controlled location, typically with some type of climate manage, normally with liquid feeding systems, and (increasingly) ‘high wellness”. These systems are normally referred to as factory’ or ‘intensive’ production.

Outside pigs function breeding pigs (sows and litters) becoming kept on totally free-draining arable fields for 1 or two years per website, employing ‘arks’ and electric fencing. Far more than a third of the UK herd are now becoming kept this way, with an escalating quantity of pigs becoming raised to slaughter weight outdoors as well.

Each systems have their ‘pros’ and ‘cons’: let’s start out by examining the good attributes of each.

Indoors you have the benefit of environmental manage: piglets can be born and raised at the proper temperature adult animals can be kept cool in the summer season and warmer in the winter – they also do not get the chance to get sunburnt and airflow, specifically the occurrence of draughts, so detrimental to pig wellness, can be controlled. You can also manage the feed intake of housed pigs, and are much better in a position to cut down wastage (so significant in these days of escalating feed charges) – it is also quick to set up pc controlled feeding strategies, such as automatic sow feeders and liquid feeding for fattening stock. Indoor farms have a tendency to be a lot more productive than outdoors offered the capacity to manage feed and atmosphere – it is probable to obtain a higher level of supervision and measurement and for that reason manage of the several variables in an indoor scenario. It is also probable to establish and preserve a higher wellness status for your herd, drastically decreasing illness dangers and challenges.

Outdoors even though, you’d advantage from a great deal lowered capital charges, reduce operating charges, a genuine promoting advantage in these days when ‘freedom food’, ‘outdoor bred’ and even ‘organic’ hold sway more than buyers who may be persuaded to element with a premium value for such environmental friendliness. There is a perception of greater welfare in operation for the outside pig (a lot more all-natural, much better in a position to express it is ‘inner pig’. Ultimately there is the quite genuine benefit of employing pigs as a ‘break crop’ ‘cleaning’ and fertilising a piece of arable land in will need of weeding and refreshing.

Wonderful benefits, but what about the downsides?

Indoors, the set up charges are 3 instances greater (on a per sow basis) than for an outside unit. Power charges are higher, and slurry disposal can be a dilemma (though welcomed by the arable boys when spread and incorporated into the soil), and definitely a considerable price. The higher population density of an intensive farm has it is personal complications as well: ailments spread like wild-fire really should they acquire access to the herd, and the smell can get offensive, specifically on hot days. Welfare considerations are quite significant as well – it is much easier to fall foul of the law indoors than out (stocking densities and environmental enrichment come to thoughts).

Outdoors, the greatest complications are reduce productivity and extremes of climate (on my outside unit I watched water freeze as it came out of a 4 inch valve on a bowser 1 winter). Receiving high-quality employees is an escalating dilemma as well – each day outdoors is not necessarily idyllic. Vermin manage and the wellness status of the herd is a possible dilemma as well, as is the management of the feeding herd really should that be kept outdoors (appetite manage, feed conversion, development prices and feed wastage will all be large challenges that will will need a wholesome premium value to justify).

There you have it. “Swings and roundabouts” as they say – “six of 1 and half a dozen of the other”. Possibly the most effective is a compromise – properly-made buildings and slurry management systems, with pipeline fed fat pigs (employing dairy waste for instance), loose housing and lots of straw. Throw in some higher welfare attributes like Electronic Sow Feeders and lots of environmental enrichment, and preserve a higher wellness status, then perhaps you are going to have the most effective of each worlds? One particular factor I know for certain is that pigs get as miserable as we do on snowy, icy, wet and windy days, and, like us, they obtain draughts and higher temperature equally uncomfortable.