Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): J. G. Gentry, J. J. McGlone, J. R. Blanton, Jr. and M. F. Miller
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
Reference: Journal of Animal Science 2002. 80:1781-1790.
Country: USA


A growing interest has been shown in alternative pig
production systems because of the low capital cost of
outdoor systems, which varies from 40 to 70% of the cost for conventional indoor systems. Concerns for animal welfare and awareness of niche
marketing opportunities have increased interest in the
production of free-range animals characteristics.
The overall objectives of these experiments
were to examine the effects of alternative pig housing
systems on growth and meat quality measures using
both controlled university trials and field studies. It was found that pigs finished in alternative and outdoor systems had
carcass and pork quality characteristics similar to those
of pigs finished in conventional indoor systems on slatted
flooring. In mild climates, pigs housed outdoors may
grow faster than pigs housed indoors during warm
months. Pig birth environment may play an important
role in growth and performance throughout the finishing
period. Alternative pig housing systems, such as
bedded facilities or outdoor finishing, can be successful
under proper management. Seasonal differences in
growth may exist with pigs finished outdoors. Further
research comparing pigs born outdoors and indoors
should be conducted to examine differences in growth,
meat quality, and pig welfare that may exist in conventional
and alternative finishing systems.

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