Saturday, February 27, 2016
Gestation crates are quite possibly the most controversial subject in the swine industry. While some swine breeders and large operation farms consider them valuable to the process, organizations such as PETA deem them inadequate for living. Gestation crates are used on farms of a larger scale to hold a sow for basically their entire lives, with the exception of farrowing times. These crates do not allow the sows to turn around but they are fed and watered appropriately. Is this a serious animal ethics violation? Some companies have already taken a side in the fight against gestation crates such as Tyson and Smithfield Foods who is removing gestation crates from their farms. People across America are joining in this as well, and choosing a side. Although these crates may seem inhumane, the only other option would be group housing. Group housing would be a large hut containing probably hundreds if not thousands of sow all together. From first hand experience I've seen how a sow hierarchy works and it is vicious. Having that many Alpha's together is asking for trouble. The spread of disease would be much more prominent, it would make breeding more difficult through a stress filled environment, and the pigs would maul each other. The argument could be made that the gestation crates just keep them safe, and run an efficient factory that is feeding our world.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The National Swine Registry (NSR) has four breeds in it. The breeds are Yorkshire, Hampshire, Duroc, and Landrace. Yorkshires are all white pigs with erect ears. York's are known for there mothering and growth ability. Hampshire's are black pigs with a white belt that must go all the way around there shoulders and erect ears. Hamp's are known for there durability and great carcass. Duroc's are red pigs with flop ears. Duroc's are known for durability, growth, and muscle. Landrace are white pigs with big flop ears. Landrace are known for their mothering and birthing ability's. The NSR breeds are my favorite breeds.