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Survey helps small scale pig farmers

Survey helps small scale pig farmers

Better understanding small lot pig production will help to build practical resources, says one professional 

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer 

A swine research centre in Saskatoon recently conducted a survey of small scale pig producers. 

The Prairie Swine Center hopes to use the information collected to develop production and biosecurity resources for small scale producers. 

“We have learned about the various types of production practices employed by small scale producers,” Dr. Murray Pettitt, CEO of Prairie Swine Centre, told 

The organization used responses from 565 producers to generate a report. 

“Producers had anywhere from 1 to 400 pigs on their farm, and approximately half of them had pigs for only a portion of the year,” Pettitt said. 93 per cent of those producers “also have other livestock or poultry on their farm.”

The survey “asked about housing and feeding practices, veterinarian support, the presence of other livestock on the farm, sources of pigs, marketing practices, and disease management and awareness,” he explained. 

Respondents also explained “where they access information they need for the raising of healthy pigs,” he added. This helped Prairie Swine Centre get a better understanding of the variation across the country of where small scale pork producers look for resources. 

“The survey was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the needs of small scale pig owners to have access to practical resource materials on management methods and the raising of healthy, well-grown pigs,” Pettitt explained. “The information will be used by stakeholders who provide information support to small scale producers to develop additional resource materials to improve the health of pigs and reduce the risk of disease.”

The health of pigs on small scale operations is related to the health of the entire Canadian pig herd, which is one reason why improving access to practical resource material is a priority for the industry. 

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