In the last few years Meishan boars (pronounced May Shan) have grown in popularity with producers across North America, and it isn't just for their dashing good looks. While Meishans aren't much to look at—they honestly look like a mix between a basset hound, a pug, and a pig—their breed characteristics are well-suited to open checks and boar stations with automatic heat detection.
Steve Horton has been working with Thomas Livestock for eight years. He currently serves as the farrowing supervisor for four sow barns. In his 42 years in the hog industry, Horton has seen plenty of barn management styles and observed firsthand how that can impact worker and sow productivity. We sat down with Horton and asked him about barn management habits that negatively impact sow production. Keep reading for Horton's thoughts.
This will probably seem like a no-brainer, but one of the biggest factors determining success on a hog farm is making sure the sows that are supposed to be pregnant are actually pregnant. In traditional gestation stalls workers are tasked with performing ultrasound on each bred sow, a job that can be dangerous both for workers and pigs. Time consumption is a big factor with this method.
Even after switching to group housing, some farms still struggle to find a good system for identifying sows in heat. Watching for visual signs of estrus is a skill that takes time to develop and require close staff monitoring. Thankfully with New Standard and Nedap Livestock Management, the task of identifying and dealing with open sows gets a whole lot easier.
When we think about creating efficient poultry barn ventillation systems, many times the focus is on the hot summer temps. But winter can be an issue for birds too. After all, heat rises and turkeys spend their time on the ground. In this video we use a fog machine to show how establishing a good ventillation system can redirect the air flow down to your birds to keep them warm, even during the coldest winter months.
If there is one thing that we consistently hear from customers it is that they appreciate our excellent support through our staff. With that in mind, we wanted to introduce you to the people who help New Standard maintain that excellence.
Over the next few weeks and months we will be featuring the faces of New Standard in several question and answer posts. If you're a current customer, most of these staff faces won't be strangers, but we think some of their answers might surprise you!
Last week at the office we were all studying a pig anatomy book. None of the information was new; in fact, it was all pretty standard stuff—until we got to the end. Then there was a twist in the tale! So we decided to go hog wild and post some sty-lish jokes that'll make you squeal! Stay until the end and there's another surprise!