Loading Facilities for Market Hogs: Saskatchewan’s Top 10
Loading facilities can result in longer loading times, increased incidence of rough handling and prod use if poorly designed. Stress associated with this can affect meat quality, carcass and also increase the amount of downer pigs and losses. Ten Saskatchewan barns were observed to see what changes should be made to improve loading pigs. Ramps should be fitted with cleats and have a non-slip surface with the angles less than 20°. Loading facilities should be well lit; using diffuse incandescent lighting was preferred as it reduces shadows and contrast. When moving pigs, move from darker areas into lighter areas (such as the truck). Smaller groups of 5-10 pigs are easier to move as having too many handlers or handlers getting ahead of pigs are a common distraction for larger groups. Minimize prod use, use behavioural principles like herd behaviour and flight zone and keep a consistent, calm attitude. These recommended practices will help ensure a faster and smoother loading experience.
Loading Facilities for Market Hogs – Saskatchewan’s Top 10 (full article)